As I sit here in my air-conditioned home with power, I am overwhelmed by both the loss and the incredible work done by so many. I had 24 hours of packing up in case. Others have been out of their homes and in limbo for over a week. Many have nothing to go home to.
I can’t say enough about the local stations and aNewsCafe that have been on 24 hours a day, trying to get information to people. Their reporters have been in precarious positions day and night. The national media have done their best to report both the horror and the progress to friends and families around the US.
I am in awe listening to the Cal Fire Briefings. How can they possibly organize teams and resources over a fire area the size of 7 Manhattans? But they do!
Every effort has been made to keep people safe and to inform people with community meetings. There was tension. There were tears. There was hope.
I see posts complaining about most everything, and that is OK and understandable, but I also see every agency and every neighbor basically doing everything they can to curb this nightmare.
Our community is stepping up, but in cases like this, our whole country is our community. We are not perfect, but I have no doubt that the job will get done.
So a huge “thank you” to every agency that has stretched themselves to the breaking point to get this fire stopped, to keep survivors safe, to inform the public, to restore services, and to get people help. The work has just begun!
Karen Hafenstein lives in Redding. She is "sort of" retired. She teaches music at French Gulch Elementary School, and in her spare time she's a substitute teacher, director of the Redding Community Choir, and hangs around schools because she just can’t resist.Click here for more fire stories.