Phoenix Rising from the Ashes, Sonoma County Fair 2018
Sunday night, October 8, 2017, I went to bed excited because the next morning I was going to leave for my annual road trip to California. I had packed my car and was ready. This trip is something I look forward to all year long. It’s like going home for me.
Monday morning, while I was filling up my to-go coffee cup, my phone rang. It was my friend in Santa Rosa, who informed me of a horrific wildfire that had broken out over night. The fire was raging across the greater area and parts of the city of Santa Rosa. She was in her car, leaving the immediate area for the time being. Other friends had no choice but to evacuate.
I was stunned! I couldn’t believe it!
I sat down, drank my coffee, then unpacked my car,
and crossed my fingers that everyone was going to be okay.
Taylor Mountain Regional Park, Santa Rosa 2018
Extremely dry conditions and strong winds, combined with some failed electrical equipment had started a massive wildfire Sunday evening near the town of Calistoga in neighboring Napa County. The fire had grown rapidly out of control and was racing down hillsides towards Santa Rosa, burning down everything in its path. Thousands and thousands of residents had to evacuate. This fire then jumped across the main artery of the city, Highway 101 and burned down an entire neighborhood.
By the time the Tubbs Fire was under control,
5643 structures were destroyed,
nearly 37,000 acres had burned,
many people lost everything,
and some even lost their lives.
Last summer (July 2018) on my way to Santa Rosa, I drove through the Mount Shasta-Trinity area a day or two after another massive wildfire exploded, this time near the city of Redding. The fire had accidentally been started when a vehicle had gotten a flat tire. The vehicle’s wheel then scraped along the pavement and created sparks; sparks which set the parched, golden brown hills northeast of Redding on fire. The devastating Carr Fire was deemed a
“pyro-genetic fire tornado”
nearly 1000 homes were destroyed,
about 38,000 people were evacuated,
and 8 people lost their lives.
These fires are wicked! There were way too many of them last year here in the West!
The glow of a nearby wildfire reflected in Ashland Creek, Oregon 2018
In July 2018, my favorite rest area on the Klamath River near the Oregon border was closed due to recent wild fires.
In 2018, from Southern Oregon, past Redding and all the way to Santa Rosa the air was thick with smoke and haze.
Normally you can see Mount Shasta in the background.
Mount Shasta to the east near Yreka during a prior year.
Crossing the bridge across Lake Shasta in the smoke in 2018
The Mount Shasta area hills shrouded in smoke in 2018.
Lake Shasta, 2018
Crape Myrtles love the Central Valley heat.
Fire fighting airplanes headed toward the Carr Fire in Anderson, near Redding.
One of my favorite sights along I-5 in Northern California are these
tractor trailers carrying tomatoes to the canneries even during the fires.
The air was awful everywhere!
This area just south of Ashland burned not too long before the Carr Fire started.
Interstate 5 had to be closed down for a while.
Wildfire destruction along Interstate 5 near the California-Oregon border, August 2018
California is such a diverse state! From the people to the agriculture to the …
Rice fields in the northern Central Valley on a sunny day.
This is what the hills and sky normally look like in this area.
I do believe that climate change is real. I don’t need anyone trying to change my mind. These kinds of weather extremes, fierce wildfires, devastating flooding, evermore destructive hurricanes and tornadoes, warm temperatures in Alaska melting away the ice and destroying towns. I’m sure that no matter where you live, you’ve noticed changes in your local weather patterns as well.
It’s a “We’re all in it together” issue!
No matter where you live!
Oleander outside the Sandman Hotel, Santa Rosa 2018