At the mercy of the Northern California wildfires

See also: Are the California wildfires Jerry Brown’s Katrina?

I can't claim firsthand experience of the wildfires, other than breathing the very unhealthy air, full of particulate matter, the smoke so thick at times that everything gets fuzzy five hundred feet away.  Schools are closed, and people are advised to stay indoors.  Many people wear filters or surgical masks when outdoors.  During sunlight hours, the light is weird.  A lot of colors look like faded 1950s Anscochrome home movies – too much yellow, lending an off-putting, unhealthy pallor to the world.

But I have a intense secondhand experience: a winery I helped start twenty years ago (and remain a partner in) has barely survived the fire.  So far.  For the past two days, we have not known whether the fire in adjacent Green Valley had blown over the hills that separate Suisun Valley from Green Valley and incinerated us.

Both valleys are at the bottom of Napa, which is many times larger.

It was saved yesterday, my partner heard from our neighbors, thanks to the arrival of out-of-state crews that augmented already exhausted state resources.  They were able to extinguish what are termed "hot spots," because the winds were less intense.  What happens is that the wind can drive flaming embers fairly long distances, and when some of them land, they start to ignite a hot spot.


Close-up.


Screen grab from KXTV.

You can actually see what happened on this video that Channel 10 in Sacramento shot, right where our winery and cooperative tasting room (three small wineries) are located, on Suisun Valley Road.

 

We are OK for now, but winds are expected to increase from now through the weekend.  There is no guarantee at all that anyone is safe around there.  Or many, many other places around here.  Nobody can say when this will end or where it will stop.

We are truly at the mercy of forces beyond our control, which is why prayer is so welcome.

See also: Are the California wildfires Jerry Brown’s Katrina?

I can't claim firsthand experience of the wildfires, other than breathing the very unhealthy air, full of particulate matter, the smoke so thick at times that everything gets fuzzy five hundred feet away.  Schools are closed, and people are advised to stay indoors.  Many people wear filters or surgical masks when outdoors.  During sunlight hours, the light is weird.  A lot of colors look like faded 1950s Anscochrome home movies – too much yellow, lending an off-putting, unhealthy pallor to the world.

But I have a intense secondhand experience: a winery I helped start twenty years ago (and remain a partner in) has barely survived the fire.  So far.  For the past two days, we have not known whether the fire in adjacent Green Valley had blown over the hills that separate Suisun Valley from Green Valley and incinerated us.

Both valleys are at the bottom of Napa, which is many times larger.

It was saved yesterday, my partner heard from our neighbors, thanks to the arrival of out-of-state crews that augmented already exhausted state resources.  They were able to extinguish what are termed "hot spots," because the winds were less intense.  What happens is that the wind can drive flaming embers fairly long distances, and when some of them land, they start to ignite a hot spot.


Close-up.


Screen grab from KXTV.

You can actually see what happened on this video that Channel 10 in Sacramento shot, right where our winery and cooperative tasting room (three small wineries) are located, on Suisun Valley Road.

 

We are OK for now, but winds are expected to increase from now through the weekend.  There is no guarantee at all that anyone is safe around there.  Or many, many other places around here.  Nobody can say when this will end or where it will stop.

We are truly at the mercy of forces beyond our control, which is why prayer is so welcome.

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