We never did actually evacuate for the fire today, though we are still considered in a high risk area and are on evacuation standby through tomorrow. It was blessing to eat dinner together around our family table together tonight!
In addition to the original "big fire," (ironically, called the "Little Valley Fire"), we actually had a large enough second burn even closer to our house this morning. We thought we were just minutes away from mandatory evacuation mid-morning because the fire was within walking distance (a long walk, longer than I could do with a walker, but a distance I could have gone before my strokes, were it not up the side of the mountain above us!) of our neighborhood, but they got that one under control by early afternoon, got that freeway re-opened and even got local flames enough under control to send fire-fighting resources out to help out the main fire fight that's a 10-15 minute drive down the road. (The Little Valley fire is a threat because it is so fast-moving and we have been experiencing 60mph winds with gusts too.)
The bags are packed and stacked by the front door. I suspect we sleep with an eye open all night, just in case. Blessed rain helped knock the fire down a bit this afternoon. We went from a day of no containment (on the original fire that started our evacuation standby) to 7% containment with the rain. Around dinner time the winds kicked back up and the firefighters quickly lost much of that containment.
Several friends live in that area and were under mandatory evacuations today. Over 2,000 acres and 23 homes, 7 barns and 8 outbuildings near Washoe Valley have burned since about 1:30 this morning. One of those homes had deep family roots, where my mother-in-law spend every full summer of her childhood. The ranch is still owned by family, a cousin now. I have a few friends I haven't heard from yet, so I don't know if I know any of the other 22 homeowners.
Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.
Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Here is her resume.
Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.