A Quick Opinion: We won’t forget the year 2020

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Never say that things can’t get worse, because they can. I’ve lived in Winters most of my life and this has to be the worst fire that I’ve seen. Sure, there have been years when a few homes burned but nothing like this, and the fires are still burning with unbelievable speed.

If you are wondering how you can help, the local Rotary Club has set up the Greater Winters Fire Relief Fund at First Northern Bank. One hundred percent of the money will be used to aide local fire victims. You can make a donation through the Rotary Club of Winters Facebook page, at First Northern Bank, or at local merchants that have collection jars on their counters. Just look for Greater Winters Fire Relief Fund.

The Winters Parent Nursery School has organized a clothing and supply drive for those that have suffered losses from the fire. They are located at the corner of Main and Fourth streets. They are filling requests from families that lost everything and have requested certain items, like sports equipment and the like.

During the Paradise fire, people donated tons of clothing that turned out to be unusable and truckloads were taken to the local landfill. If you want to help, ask the folks at WPNS what they really need before just dumping off your stuff.

What do people people really need? Let them decide for themselves and make a monetary donation to the Greater Winters Fire Relief Fund who will disperse the money to those that need it. The fund will be working with Yolo and Solano County Emergency Relief agencies to get a list of those in need.

Sometimes it is easier to get donations than figure out how to pass out the money, either as gift cards or housing allowances. The Winters Rotary Foundation will be making those decisions and are moving as fast as they can to find those affected by the fire that live in the Winters area. As I write this, I don’t have a contact besides the Rotary Facebook page, but that would be a good place to start if you need help.

At some point there will be a downtown location where you can sit down and apply for funds or ask for assistance. I just don’t have that information at my fingertips, yet.

Winters Express publisher, Taylor Buley, has been taking pictures and video of the fire and those clips can be found on the Winters Express Facebook page. When the fire first started, I was thinking that I was glad that Taylor has to cover the fire and not me. It gets really hot on the fire line and your clothes smell like smoke, even after you wash them. There are times when you know the homeowner whose house is burning and it is just awful.

Thank a firefighter when you see them, or give them a thumbs up as they pass by, same for police officers and other emergency personnel. If you have ever been close to a fire, it is unbelievable how uncomfortable firefighters must be. Not only are they carrying around a lot of equipment and heavy clothing, but sometimes the temperature is well over a 100, like now. Then you add the heat from the fire, the smoke and the terrain and you wonder if they are superhuman. It is exhausting just to get to the fire with a camera around your neck, and watching them pull hoses uphill is amazing.

Seeing total devastation is depressing, experiencing the loss of all your positions, is unimaginable.

Say a prayer, donate what you can, and try and stay safe. It was not a good week.

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