Nov 21 2018

Wildfire Disaster: So Much to be Thankful For.

Published by at 11:59 pm under Uncategorized

It’s really hard to know what to say or how to start. We find ourselves going from being extremely busy, trying to take care of all the business of trying to put our lives back on track to wanting to be distracted so that we don’t dwell too long on our reflections. I think everybody does this.

So far they have found that 83 people have lost their lives in the Camp Fire. Paradise, California and its surrounding communities have been being searched by a team of nearly 800 people, are looking for those who were unable to escape. And after searching through hot debris and ash, now they are searching in what is going to be four days of heavy rain, that may cumulatively become 7 inches of rain and possible mud slides. They’re going to continue to search on Thanksgiving Day. We are very thankful for these people.

I have heard that there are well over 1000 law-enforcement personnel and I’m probably underestimating. I apologize for that. But they are going to be working on Thanksgiving to make sure that everybody and their property who are inside that wildfire zone will remain safe and secure. We are very thankful for those people. Police from every City in Butte County California, the Butte County Sheriff Department, and so many surrounding Sheriff’s Department and City police departments that I can’t even tell you where they have all come from to be here. The California Highway Patrol has every available resource that they can send this way, and there are even some California National Guard troops involved. We are very thankful for these people.

Over 5500 firefighters came from all over the western states to help fight this fire and I am sure many of them are still here, trying to finish this fire off, and the fire is still burning even though we have encountered our first day of reasonably heavy rain. They have worked very very hard to protect everything they possibly could. Eating smoke, working one of the hardest jobs with the greatest danger. They come on briefings on the television and tell us that they’re going to be here as our fire department until this is out. Those folks give up an awful lot to come out and do that for us wherever we may be when fire strikes. We are very thankful for these people.

So many churches and Community centers and Fairgrounds and community organizations have organized food drives, clothing drives, shelters, funding collections and so many things that I can’t even begin to list. Major corporations have donated and set up help. And I’m sure I’m not even scratching the surface, of what is being done to help all of the people who have been displaced and burned out by the Camp Fire. We are very thankful for all these people, and I apologize about all that I’m not even aware of.

So many people from the woodworking and making community, who follow my blog and newsletter have reached out with so much kindness. So many of you have helped to spread the word. shared information on your own blogs and newsletters, social media, by word of mouth. My wife and I are in awe, and extremely humbled by the help and concerns that you have shown for us. We are very thankful for all of you.

We were extremely lucky. We had made some preparations, and we had practiced our plan, but this fire was super fast, and even though we ran out of time and didn’t get everything out that we had listed in our plan, our plan helped us a lot, and like most plans that get tested in emergency situations, many things on that plan had to be adapted on the run. For what it’s worth, one of my biggest takeaways has been that having a plan and practicing that plan made a difference, and understanding that we had to situationally modify the plan as we went helped us too. A total of 13,503 homes have been destroyed, over 18,000 buildings in total. That is not a final count. The footage we have seen of our town is surreal. There was just so much fire.

We are staying with family for the foreseeable future. We have so much to be thankful for. We have so many people to be thankful for… All I can say is that my words pale in comparison to our feelings. Thank you.

We would like to wish so many people a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope to each and everyone of you spends Thanksgiving with as much joy and happiness as you can find that day whether it be with family or friends or even in your thoughts.

For those who have sent help and encouraging thoughts to us, please know that we are very thankful for you, and we are working to reply to each and every one of you. It’s a busy time and we have a lot of things that we have to do, but we do intend to reach out to all of you and say thank you personally. This Thanksgiving for us is a true blessing, my wife and I hope that it will be for you and yours as well. Happy Thanksgiving!


Rob Hanson

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