Fire Fatigue

I can now sympathize with the Florida branch of my family during hurricane season.  The California wildfire season of ’08 is the wost ever, according to all the old-timers I’ve met.  Right now, the nearest fire, dubbed the Motion Fire–named after a creek–is only 6 miles away.  Another fire, the Igo/Ono Complex, burns about 20 minutes away by car.  Another fire, the Iron Mountain Rd Fire, is only a 10 minute drive.

There are over 158 fires in the Shasta/Trinity complex (2 adjacent counties… I live in Shasta).  Over 56,000 acres have burned.  Click on the map for a full-sized version, and realize that each dot represents dozens, if not hundreds of fires.

I hear the air bombers and helicopters overhead, scooping up water from Whiskeytown Lake, and dropping it on the fires.  But I can’t see them through the smoke.  I did see one air bomber drop orange fire retardant on a hillside a few miles away.

We have all our precious photos and important papers packed in boxes, ready to throw into the van.  The fires are far enough away, that we shouldn’t have to worry.  But I worry.  And I lean on Scripture:

  • ““Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Mt 6:25.
  • “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Php 4:6,7.
  • “The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them.” Ps 34:7.
  • “Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Ps 55:22.

But it still gnaws at me.  I feel it in my stomach.  It was so weird to be shopping at the TSC (Tractor Supply Center, like Fleet & Farm for my midwestern friends)… and to see a line of smoke in the foothills across Interstate-5.  But everybody’s going about their business like nothing’s going on.  Surreal.

Tonight, it got more smoky… I checked all the relevant websites, and there are no evacuation orders for us.  The fire would have to burn through a whole lot of houses to get to us, and there would be a lot of resources jumping on it really fast.

Let me say THANK YOU to all the firefighters and their families.  I can’t imagine the work you do… and it has been over 110 degrees this whole week!  I’m praying for you guys!

On the plus side, as long as the wind stays calm, these fires are burning out years of undergrowth… which is good.  Plus, the sunsets are beautiful–when we can see them.

And huge kudo’s to our local paper, the Redding Record Searchlight, for staying on top of developments and flare ups on their website!

Bottom line:  God is on his throne, and I need to trust him more.


3 thoughts on “Fire Fatigue

  1. I’m with you Bill. Literally. Google Earth shows my house as 360 yards from yours. I’ve been doing a lot of Google Earth measuring the last few days. If you didn’t know already you can download the perimeters of the fire from the website into Google Earth and see how close the fire is.
    I really hope it doesn’t get this far.
    It is strange how we go about our business like everything is ok even when a fire is approaching our homes. There is a spiritual parallel here. Anyway I’m not afraid…yet. I think I will be if we’re told to evacuate.
    Meanwhile I too find comfort in some of those very same verses you quoted.
    Thanks for the reminder of where my focus needs to be.

  2. Bill and Jim,
    We must also live in somewhat the same area. A website that has the perimeters already on it and is updated pretty regularly is Don’t put www like I did or you won’t get there.
    I’m nervous too, praying too and counting on my Awesome God too.

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