I don’t even know how to start writing about one of the worst fires NorCal has ever experienced if not the absolute worst. A part of me feels wrong speaking out about this because I am one of the lucky ones who to still has a house to go home to and power at this time to even write this, but regardless this fire has affected all of us in a way we won’t soon forget. I remember getting the call from my mom on Monday, July 23rd saying she was stuck in Redding after finding out 299 had been closed due to the fire that had burned only 7,000 acres or so at that point. The fire quickly exploded overnight on Wednesday, July 25th to a whopping 20,000 acres and in a matter of hours this blaze proved to be bigger than we all anticipated as the containment percentages showed no soon end in sight and fear started to set in. As of today, Monday, July 30th the fire has burned ~100,000 acres, destroyed ~800 homes, and claimed the lives of 6 people 2 of which were children and ~7 more are missing. The containment has grown from %5 containment to %20 so there is hope at the end of all of this, but there is still so much to be done.
Evacuation shelters are reaching capacity and animal shelters are overwhelmed with the amount of displaced animals. It is all hands on deck for the residents of Trinity County and Shasta County and it is amazing to see communities coming together to help each other out after such a devastating and horrific event. We are getting national attention and help from external agencies which has aided local firefighters and law enforcement tremendously.
A lot of this information I got from KRCR News Channel 7’s continuing coverage of the fire which has been so helpful to all of us constantly wondering if our neighborhood or town is going to be evacuated next. So, a special thanks to them for making sure we are getting the most accurate, straightforward information from the people working tirelessly to make sure we are safe. I know so many people want to help and donate stuff and that positive energy will not be wasted. If you are wondering what you can do to help I know the Trinity Animal Shelter could always use more volunteers and supplies for animals and the many evacuation centers at Weaverville Elementary School, Simpson University and all the other Red Cross shelters open could always use more donations such as toys, blankets, clothes, toiletries, and food. This kind of help is better than just a share of a post on Facebook.
Signs thanking firefighters are also much appreciated and give them the momentum to keep doing what they do best which is protect all of our families with their courageous acts of selflessness. My heart goes out to the families who have lost family members, friends and pets due to the Carr Fire and I can only hope and pray this nightmare ends soon and that families can get their lives back after having everything they worked for taken away from them in minutes. I can only hope that one day those mountains will be restored to their once green and flourishing glory but, for right now we must push forwards and look to the future of NorCal with optimism and strength.
If the Carr Fire has taught me anything it is that we must never take what we have for granted. The small seemingly insignificant things such as a normal drive down to Redding before this horrific fire we now realize we should have cherished because we never could have known this horrible fire was looming in the future. In seemingly the blink of an eye the mountains lush with plants and wildlife are now gone and now a community surrounded by nature is forced to rebuild itself from the ground up. One must treasure the spent in houses that are now just mere memories and that families will hold in their minds and hearts forever. When something like this happens it puts everything into perspective for so many people being affected by this fire. It is a time in all of our lives where we must learn to not be selfish, but instead willing to open our hearts to those who have nothing and getting them back on their feet. Even though there is progress the fight is not over yet and it is up to all of us to lend our neighbors a hand in this trying time where our beautiful NorCal is being threatened and it is so important to not lose hope because we as a community are strong and can survive this terrible wildfire together with some much needed human kindness.
Side notes: I choose to not pick pictures that showed houses that were destroyed out of respect for families. I also recognize I haven’t posted in a while and apologize, but it has been hard to come up with lighthearted content when all this is happening and my energy is needed in other aspects of my life. After the fire has died down I will return to my regularly scheduled posts.