A Quick Opinion: The devastation is like driving through a cemetery

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Saturday the back roads to Vacaville were open and we took a drive on Saturday to see the fire damage. Driving along Pleasants Valley Road was depressing until we started seeing houses that survived, which helped a little. There were areas where there is total devastation and you wonder how there weren’t more lives lost.

There were PG&E and AT&T crews out trying to repair power and phone lines. There were a few families looking over the rubble that used to be their home. The number of burnt cars was something that you couldn’t miss. Almost every damaged home was surrounded by charred vehicles. Metal barns were left looking over destroyed homes and plastic fences were left a tangled mess on the ground.

It is too hard to think about the number of animals that must have perished or were severely burned. I’ve tried to avoid those pictures and try to make myself believe that most wild animals can outrun a fire.

We made our way west on Highway 128 and could see the fire had burned both sides of the highway. Capay Canyon Resort was full of people with mobile homes and trailers, like nothing had happened. You could see where the fire had burned right up to the resort, but it was business as usual.

It was eerie to gaze out over Lake Berryessa and not see one boat on the water. Not a fishing boat, not a water skier or even a paddleboat. Just calm water with no wind.

We made it as far as Markley Cove before we headed back to Winters. Sitting in the parking lot, looking over what was Markley’s business office, store and information center left me speechless. The boat docks looked okay but I had read that over 20 boats were damaged.

I’m not sure that people who have lost their homes want everyone to drive by gawking, but it will make you aware of just how bad the fire was. Winters people have stepped up to donate money for those that need help. Through the Rotary Club you can donate to the Greater Winters Fire Relief Fund on the Rotary Facebook fund, leave a check at First Northern Bank or at collection boxes at local merchants.

I’m not sure of the total donations, but they have raised over $60,000, so far, with funds already being distributed. People not only need short term help, but may need assistance for months to come. If you need help, or know someone who does, contact WintersRotary@gmail.com and someone will respond. They will need your full name, and address in the 95694 zip code that was impacted by the fire.

Keep thinking about the fire and help out if you can.

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