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The Buckhorn

Copyright (c) 2010
Winters Express
312 Railroad Avenue, Winters, CA 95694
(530) 795-4551
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Disasters different close to home

A couple of weeks ago I was driving through Iowa looking at flooded fields and over flowing rivers. The local news was full of pictures of houses underwater and charts showing which rivers were approaching flood stage. It was all interesting to watch but I didn’t feel personally affected by all the water.
This week we all woke up to ash on our cars and patio furniture. My permanent tenant commented about all the ash and asked if it was from all the fireworks. I looked at the ash and told her that it was from a grass fire in the hills. I had spent Thursday night in Napa with a bunch of Canadians and we rode home on Highway 128. We talked about the Pope Valley fire and decided that we were riding south of where it could be a problem.
My thoughts Saturday morning were that the Pope Valley fire had really taken off and was coming our way. I’m not a big Internet user, but Facebook, emails and text messages sure came in handy getting the word out about our fire. When I got a good look at the mountains, the fire was a lot closer than I first thought.
Cedar Seeger sent me a nighttime photo of the fire from his ranch and it didn’t look good. Then Golden Bear Estates was evacuated and I knew people were in danger. It turns out that almost everyone came out without a scratch. A few firemen needed checking out, but all seem to have weathered the firestorm.
The Sacramento Bee had a story about a Winters family that had gathered to be at their father’s bedside during his last days. He lived in Golden Bear Estates and had to be moved into a nursing home. He passed away before he could be transported back home. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been on the family. My prayers are with them and everyone else who had a tough week.
If you look at the mountains in the morning, you can see how big the fire was. It is too bad they couldn’t just let it burn until it reached Cache Creek. I’m sure historically that is what would have happened. Forty years ago the deer clubs in the area started having problems with brush buildup from lack of fires and petitioned to have planned burns on their property. Not sure if that happens anymore with all of the new homes in the hills, but when the opportunity shows up at your door, I’m sure they would have appreciated a little more south wind.
Living in town, I don’t know if the people living outside of Winters are assessed the Cal Fire rural fire fee/tax of $152.33 per year. I also don’t know how the state spends this new revenue, but hopefully they reimburse local fire departments that helped Cal Fire put out the Berryessa Fire. Knowing politicians, they probably kept the money to pay for more management training/conferences.
A quick note on the Fourth of July. I thought the city fireworks were great, and the mess left behind by people incredible. Who raised these people? How can you go somewhere, make a huge mess and just walk away? Shame on them. Another reason I support the death penalty.
Have a good week.