Fires Update, Oct. 12

A prayer from Bishop Barry for the diocese

Most Gracious God: 
Hear our prayer for all whose lives are impacted by this crisis. 
Shield and deliver all emergency responders; 
 give wisdom and guide those in authority; 
watch over all who have been forced to evacuate, and all who wait with uncertainty. 
Comfort those who mourn great loss. Help those who wish to help 
 to be patient and effective in compassion. Bless us all, and help us trust in you. 
 In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Check for the latest fire and evacuation information. A wrap-up story of the fires situation Thursday was posted on the Episcopal News Service.

Calistoga city officials weren't mincing words this morning: "It is imperative for any people who refuse to leave to do so immediately," the city said in a public alert around 9 a.m. on Thursday. "Individuals failing to leave distract first responders. Their presence interferes with Fire and Police personnel to respond to fires. Individuals failing to leave may be subject to arrest." 

On Thursday, state fair police announced Cal Expo will be taking in "busloads of people" forced to leave their homes because of the multiple fires sweeping through the state this week. 

The fairgrounds last opened up as an evacuation center in February after nearly 200,000 people fled from communities beneath the Oroville Dam after its spillway collapsed and caused mass flooding.

The Red Cross is set up at the Clubhouse near the race track at the fairgrounds. Their director of communications, Steve Walsh, said late Thursday afternoon the shelter is fully stocked and his organization does not anticipate the need for any goods, "but we never turn anything away, if people drop things off. We just don't have the capacity to store anything, and usually end up having Goodwill or someone come get the excess when the shelter closes."

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California to provide emergency support for those impacted by deadly wildfires in California. The assistance includes food and other critical supplies, housing and the storage of belongings.

"The diocese and church partners are coordinating their efforts during this challenging time. The fires have not been contained and last minute evacuations continue," said Katie Mears, Director of Episcopal Relief & Development's U.S. Disaster Program. "We are in regular communication with the dioceses throughout California as they monitor the fires, assess damage and coordinate the sheltering and feeding of those affected."

"I am very impressed by the wisdom among leaders in the Diocese of Northern California," Mears said. "Margaret Dunning, the Diocesan Disaster Coordinator, and others have been working tirelessly for over six years to increase congregational preparedness and to network with neighboring dioceses and NGO partners. This large-scale emergency builds on that wisdom and experience."

Please support Episcopal Relief & Development's response to the wildfires in California by donating to the U.S. Disaster Fund and pray for all those impacted.

Bishop Barry, the Rev. Canon Andrea McMillin, Margaret Dunning,  and other clergy and staff will be teleconferencing again with Episcopal Relief & Development on Friday morning. If you'd rather give within the diocese, donations to Bishop Barry's discretionary fund can be made securely online at the  diocese's website. 


Our bishop-retired, Jerry Lamb, called this morning to say that he and Jane love us and are holding us in prayer as we deal with the fires' destruction. The photo is from last year's Diocesan Convention.

In this month that we remember the life and work of St. Francis, let us not forget the animals that have been affected by the fires. Some have been abandoned as their owners had to flee with only the clothing they were wearing when the fires spread. Others were evacuated but cannot be with their owners.

The Rev. Debra Warwick-Sabino and her husband Rob contacted  Lees Feed to donate hay and supplies to animals being sheltered at Solano fairgrounds. Jeff Lee was happy to donate hay, dog and cat food and even drove a truck down there. Rob also their truck filled with more food "for these precious animals who are displaced."

Santa Rosa Fairgrounds is expecting more animals to show up this afternoon and could use volunteers to help feed them.

The Rev. Karen King, associate at St. Patrick's, Kenwood, wrote this note to her congregation:

"I would like to thank everyone for getting in touch and staying in close contact with me during this time. If you are able to contact me and haven't done so yet, please reach out to me and let me know you're safe. I would love to hear from you.

"Unfortunately, there will be no Holy Eucharist services at St. Patrick's on Sunday, Oct. 15. If you are in the position to attend church, Incarnation, Santa Rosa, has invited you all to attend services there. They offer three Holy Eucharist services at 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., & 11:15 a.m.

"I am glad everyone is safe, that in this very difficult situation God will sustain us, that I am & we are all praying for one another, our friends, and our county, and that we all need to remain positive and looking forward.

"My love to all and blessings."

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