To friends, family, and anyone living in SoCal affected by the fires…I send positive thoughts, and hopes that you stay safe and that your homes stay standing.
I was in Berkeley during the 1991 Berkeley/Oakland Hills fires…and it was a sight to behold. The sky was dark gray, the sun was a red dot in the sun, and we prayed and prayed that the winds would stop, the temperatures would drop, the rain would fall, and that the fires would cease.
Friends ran into my college dormitory, their eyebrows singed–they had escaped the fire from their rental home after throwing all their computers and valuables into the empty bathtub. They only had the clothes on their back. They’d run to my dormitory, the first safe place in their mind. I welcomed them in, they all slept on the floor and couches in the lounge.
I did not lose a home, but many people did. The following Spring, the scorched earth showed signs of renewed life, green grass poking its way through the blackened soil. For years afterwards, the hills were without buildings. When I went to a real estate open house in Berkeley, I read an essay posted on a bulletin board in a child’s room. It was a child’s essay on what had happened during the fire, and how his life would never be the same again, how he had lost so many things.
Life returned. New buildings were erected.
May you all be safe.