California Infernos

Last Update: October 17, 2017

Some of our members have been affected by the Napa Valley fires. I've been there a number of time never suspecting it was a fire hazard zone, just beautiful vineyards and wineries. I have not been there since the tremendous buildup in housing in fire-hazard areas.

I won't mention the name of one of our members. He had to hose down the roofs of buildings but the family is now in the middle of the grape harvest without damage. He is very fortunate.

Like the folks in the Caribbean and Southeast, they need our help.

John

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NWTDennis Premium
The devastation is as you may have seen on TV, but may be even more severe here in Sonoma County (Santa Rosa in particular). The fire started in Napa County (Calistoga) and quickly spread over the mountain that separates us to Santa Rosa, Sonoma, and areas in between.

My wife and I have lived in Santa Rosa for more than 45 years. Our home was spared, but more than 6500 homes were not including homes of several very close friends. Life in Santa Rosa may never be the same ... but we will be back.

Oh ... and don't forget we are the wine country as well. Yea, Napa Valley was first, but vineyards have long turned our rural country side, hay fields and orchards (Apples and Walnuts), to vineyards. Many wine lovers even prefer Sonoma County wines over Napa County wines.

I think PG&E is in a heep of trouble. They have resisted the California PUC request to update high fire risk equipment and power line maps for several years. The perfect storm that started on Sunday Oct 8 was clearly started by downed power lines and equipment that were at risk. Stay tuned.
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DaveSw Premium
It is devastating what has happened, and I do hope that they conduct some after action reviews to see what may have been the root causes and then take corrective action...

I believe you when you say that you will be back, That is what I admire about Americans...

You can knock them down, you can, from time to time, have an anomaly rear it's ugly head who tries to disrupt the norm, but over time reason will triumph...

I do not believe that a disaster such as this, as terrible as it is, will keep the Americans down...It is quite tumultuous at times over there these days....Too many disasters in different circles...many fires...

This is spoken by a person from afar...But who feels and cares deeply about what happens in the USA...I served a big portion of my life for the ideals it claims to represent...I have a vested interest!

These fires have multiple causes no doubt...Mother Nature perhaps is the master arbiter to help bring us back to reality...But also there is no doubt that there is plenty of blame to go around...

I still picture that area as it was, I know that I will likely be shocked when I get back to that part of the world...Lots of people with you and all there, hang in there, and I KNOW you will be back!

Cheers!
Dave : )
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NWTDennis Premium
Thank you so much Dave for your thoughtful reply. At the moment, life here in Santa Rosa feels as though it will never be the same.

Thank god for our First Responders, Fire Fighters, and Law Enforcers. While not yet fully contained, there is now minimal threat to additional home and business structures.

WE WILL be back! You are forever welcome here in Sonoma County Wine Country
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HelenpDoyle Premium
Dave, I think the get up and start again required by these disasters is how most people act. Here in Australia we have severe bush fires almost every year now. Some people are defeated but most go back and restart their lives.

Yea people!
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DaveSw Premium
Yes, Helen..

I know what you mean...Even on a microscopic scale, this is true...

Outside of Frankfurt, Germany, years ago I built my house on a piece of land that had a creek on the back side of the property...

Being a dude with experience with floods, I naturally asked the neighbors prior to buying..."Any floods happen from that creek ever?"

"None in the 25 years I have been here..." was the reply...

So, I buy the property and build the house...

Guess what? Two years later, the first flash flood ever in the area...

Made the local papers, a fish swimming in water half way up the front door height of houses (cool pic)...It was front page news...

Result?

Massive damage to property, cars, stuff inside, and countless hours pumping out water and cleaning the mess...

For everyone having a house in the area...

But, we all pulled together to help one another repair and rebuild...

Two years later (and with a bunch of money and work) we had a more beautiful place than at the start...

I am a great believer in spirit, and that has no borders or passport!

Cheers!
Dave : )
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HelenpDoyle Premium
Now that you mention floods, I managed the Natural Disaster program in northern New South Wales for the NSW Public Works. And boy did we have some floods. The building I was originally in was on a street about 19m above the normal river surface. Before my time, but we had a photo of our flood boat timed to our buildings door nob.

A colleague of mine had acquaintances who, after discussing the location with the local council, built their house on the outer bend of a river. With tragic consequences. Our rivers rise, during the big wet, very rapidly. The wife was at home and was swept away by the flood - along with the house. What a ridiculous council.

I am so glad you recovered with a lovely house.

Community spirit is so great.

Helen
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McWord Premium
Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected and for the loss of life.

Terrible tragedy.

mitch
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HelenpDoyle Premium
John, I have been busy lately and just noticed I hadn't seen you for a while. You are right about the Napa. With so little wild growth and nice green vines it is hard to see how the fires took hold so badly. Those vines must have high oil content to go with their wine!

Watching it on TV it looked like a lot of spot fires too; on houses. As per all the folks over here in Australia who suffer through our ferocious fires we also really feel for the Napa residents.

Our fire season seems to be extending and this year has been so wet we have had a huge growth of vegetation. So the fire hazard is quite high.

Hopefully not as bad as the season a few years ago when the sky looked like this!
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TJ Books Premium
My wife died on the 19th of Sept so I have been pretty much out of it. I had a heart attack to that slowed me down. Down your way, you do know fire! John
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HelenpDoyle Premium
So sorry about your wife John after having 64 years with her. I hope she went quickly and serenely.

Just make sure you cater to your heart and keep on doing all those things you love (just a bit slower).
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Really feeling sorry for the losses, just thanking the fact that people are still alive. Life is what matters most.
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TJ Books Premium
Welcome to WA, Give! Life IS what matters after such a disaster.
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emerald860 Premium
There are so many natural disasters in such a short space of time recently! I have a friend in Santa Rosa, CA and her niece's house burned down. All these disasters are very tragic. Alanna
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TJ Books Premium
And so close to us, Alanna. Everyone seems to have family members connected to these events. John
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TammiP Premium
It is just terrible that all that beautiful wine country has been destroyed. That was one of my favorite places to spend time at when I was in California. I hate that it is gone.

Glad that your friend was unscathed. He was truly lucky!!

T
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TJ Books Premium
He read my post and PM'd me. He is still fine but said they are in desperate need for help. John
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lynnsam61 Premium
It's scary and heartbreaking to hear the reports of the damage and lives lost. This has definitely been quite the year for unexpected natural disasters.

Erica
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TJ Books Premium
Santa Barbara was so beautiful the last time I was there. Sounds like you are a healthy young woman able to do things. Great! Always take care of yourself. Nobody else will. I'm 85 but not able to do too much. I have a caregiver, the same one who took care of my wife for six years until she passed away recently. Georgia.

Her family members were caught in Houston which put her sons our of work causing them to leave the state of Texas.

I can still drive but I'm a kamikaze! John
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DaveSw Premium
Yes, terrible...I have watched with concern from the ME, as I have some very good friends in that area, and for a time the contact was gone...

Thankfully they have resurfaced and are OK, some damage but that can be replaced. More important is that they are OK...

It has certainly been a bad year for natural disasters...

I also have relatives in Puerto Rico (via my grandson), and friends along the Gulf Coast...Even in Europe, Portugal has suffered, with the storm that blew through stoking the fires they are experiencing...I have friends there too...

All in all, really not a good year...

I agree we need to help as much as we can where we can...Those of us fortunate enough NOT to have gone through these are lucky indeed...

Cheers!
Dave : )
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TJ Books Premium
You pretty much cover the globe, Dave! Add the war zones and we have almost total disaster worldwide.
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DaveSw Premium
Yeah, it is not a good year in this regard at all! : (
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Chezbrown Premium
It has been really scary watching these fires and knowing that there are people we know who are being affected here. I really have been hoping that there is no one who has lost anything or anyone.

Thanks for this John. xxx
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TJ Books Premium
The person I mentioned without revealing him for privacy reasons saw the post and said that they are in desperate need for help.
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Chezbrown Premium
Awww John, that is so sad, is this someone I know, if it is can you please pm me to let me know who it is please. xxx
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roamy Premium
Saw the fire images in the news,terrible really.
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TJ Books Premium
Sad but true, Roamy!
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JeanL Premium
This absolutely breaks my heart when I see the news and pictures coming out of California. I pray for everyone involved.
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TJ Books Premium
Too many homes lost. Too many lives lost. So many vineyards and wineries destroyed.
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Dmorrow Premium
It’s so heart-wrenching to see so many of our friends and family devastated by these events.
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TJ Books Premium
It's horrible, Debbie!
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Dmorrow Premium
I have a cousin in Los Angeles and my heart stops every time I hear of fires, etc. near there. I always call her mom and ask "Did you hear from her yet?" because I know she'll call her as soon as possible after the event.
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TJ Books Premium
My daughter lived in Pasadena when her husband was in med school at SC. She got caught in that earthquake, hiding with her kids under the table.
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Dmorrow Premium
That’s really scary! I’m glad they were ok but that’s something those kids will never forget.
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laparra1 Premium
Good evening John,

It is terrible to see those images on tv every day. On the Spanish news after California, we are presented with the pictures of the big fires in the north of Spain, the worst ever. It is so sad especially as more than 90% of those fires are put intentionally.

Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
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TJ Books Premium
And I guess, Portugal too. I have never been to Spain even though I have been to Europe numerous times on business. My late brother spent three years in Argentina, minored in Spanish and went there with his wife after he retired. I should have gone with them. I guess they forgot to ask me. lol ¡Me alegro de conocerte! John
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laparra1 Premium
Good evening John,

Thank you for me alegro de conocerte but we know each other already, remember?

Greetings from the south of Spain, Taetske
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cbuffone Premium
It certainly has been a devastating year on our planet, with fire, hurricanes, earthquakes
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TJ Books Premium
Mother Nature has never given a hoot about people or other critters. lol
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MKearns Premium
M mom grew up in the Napa country. It's a beautiful area!
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TJ Books Premium
I love that area. Went there with my late brother and his wife the last time. It had been a while, Michale.
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Loes Premium
It's like hell came down to earth, John, the hurricanes, the floods, the fires...
and on top of that the numerous conflicts.

It's time we shift our priorities.
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ZEGU Premium
It leaves me wondering where the world is taking us.
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Loes Premium
More, where we take the world...
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TJ Books Premium
I'm 85, Loes. We have been at war about 1/3 of the time. And then the Good Earth gives us all this stuff, much of which we cause such as these fires and the damage in Houston that caught Georgia's family, my caregiver. J
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TJ Books Premium
Probably to Hell and Back! J
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