Plumes and clouds of sadness.

Above is a photo I found online, taken by a passenger on his flight over the Sierra Nevada, and showing a smoke cloud billowed up from the Big Creek Incident in the Sierra National Forest, which as I write is not two days old, and is 0% contained. Yesterday it grew from 5,000 to 36,000 acres, and necessitated the airlifting of more than 200 campers by the National Guard. Many campgrounds, lakes and residences in these mountains have only one real road going in, and if fire blocks that, you are stuck.

On the National Guard plane.

None of these photos are my own, of course. In the satellite images below, you can see San Francisco Bay on the left, and the smoke spreading across the state line into Nevada. The lower photo shows more fires over more of the state. (Let me draw your attention also, again, to how much of the state lies north of San Francisco.)

I might not have paid much attention to this particular fire except that it has abruptly changed my plans for this week. The fire itself isn’t threatening the area where my family’s high mountain cabin is, but the road we take branches off another road that has been closed by the highway department, several miles below our road in. So… we won’t be going up after all. But God willing, I will still be seeing Soldier’s family down here, and it will be good.

Don’t know which lake this is, but it’s not near ours.

The indecision of yesterday has left me mentally and emotionally exhausted all out of proportion to my own situation, so that I can hardly compose a thought or a sentence, but I wanted to give an update. ❤

14 thoughts on “Plumes and clouds of sadness.

  1. Those wildfires are so difficult to get under control. So sad for all the people whose homes are threatened. I’m sorry your plans also have had to be changed.


  2. Thank you for the update: one tends to get bogged down by local troubles that escalate to the point where one feels both helpless and hopeless about the future, so it is good to get a broader view of what is happening elsewhere. Apart from dramatic night-time (of course!) pictures of the fires when they began, the television news feeds available to us appear to be more concerned about political issues. The very first photograph raised my goosebumps; by the time I had finished reading this I could feel them all over – what an awful, awful phenomenon!


  3. It’s true. After two weeks of trying to figure out where Hurricane Laura was going to land, there was a good bit of exhaustion even in her absence. Prayers for those trying to contain the fires certainly are in order — not to mention prayers for bureaucrats whose often unwise decisions have contributed to the problems over the years.


  4. Thank you for the update, Gretchen. We’ve been praying. I think esp. of you every time I think of the fires. I’m sorry for the upheaval of your plans, and hope that your family’s dear cabin will remain safe. It’s scary every year, even all the way across to the Atlantic, when the fires come to your area.


  5. Once again you maneuver through the trials and temptations of very real situations. I am glad you are safe, and I do hope you are doing okay considering all. If you are like me, and I think you are, our faith will keep us, no matter what. Also, the cloud and smoke analogies of God with the Israelites in Exodus must be pondered. And that verse in the New Testament, “For our God is a consuming fire”. (Hebrews 12:29).
    Take care.


  6. One of the firefighters who helped with the rescue of the campers is on an arborist forum my husband frequents. I saw pictures of the Chinook helicopters landing, the fire advancing…it was an incredible operation, so scary. Praying for CA a lot these days!


  7. Much love and many prayers from here, Gretchen. I don’t think your tiredness is out of proportion at all. Praying you lots of gentle grace as you live through such days x


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