My deepest thanks to all of you who have been writing with questions and to express your concerns. Your communications to me are helpful. Just knowing you are keeping the camp and the mountains in your thoughts and prayers is so very supportive to the staff and camp board. The PWR outreach specialist, Melissa James, and the UUA president, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, have reached out with words of support and concern.
I sent a text today to Chief Jett Shuster who has been assigned to the fire front, but who was in our camp all day yesterday. He said they used every ounce of water in our two tanks to hold the fire back from consuming buildings, and they are now shuttling water to camp via a large water tender truck. A strike team has been assigned to our camp, and as of a few hours ago, no structures had burned. The crew remains in camp and they are working hard to mitigate the impact of further damage. The risk of course is that flying embers land someplace in camp or on a roof and start a fire elsewhere while firefighters are busy fighting on another front.
I’d like to take a moment to thank Santa Monica UU Church for sponsoring a half hour concert last night to raise money for camp. They had 70 people attend and raised over $1500. The concert was so enjoyable with music written by Karl Lisovsky and vocals by both Karl and Lesley Kernochan. Karl called upon his network of musician friends to help with the production, and the result was a very meaningful and professional concert. My deepest gratitude for those who labored with love to produce the event. I hope they will replay the concert so more of you can enjoy it.
Lastly, several of you asked me to share more details of the firefighter who lost his life this week battling the wildfire. According to one news source, he was a member of a hotshot crew with the USFS. As far as I know, they have not released his name. Yesterday, his body was escorted down the mountain. Residents in Mill Creek Canyon stood with their American flags along the highway as the USFS vehicles drove by in procession. It was a moving tribute. One of those moments that takes your breath away and gives one pause to remember that this fire is so much larger than just the impact it is having on our camp.
From my evacuation place in Redlands, I have a clear view at night of the mountain on fire. It is curiously beautiful, scary, and heart wrenching all at the same time.
Your Beloved Camp
El Dorado Fire Map in vicinity of Camp as of 9/19/20
Firetrucks in Camp’s parking lot earlier today (Sorry for poor image quality)
Magnitude of El Dorado Fire
Click on the button below to view photos of the fire and funeral procession for fallen firefighter.