A miraculous break in the Napa Valley inferno in northern California. Officials and firefighter were bracing for an explosion in the fire due to a forecast of high winds over the weekend, but mercifully the expected high winds did not materialize.
Almost 100,000 people have been evacuated with thousands in shelters outside the fire zones. Some with just the clothes on their back as they escaped the fast-moving fire; others were able to stuff their cars with family and a few belongings but were afraid to unpack due to the shifting winds.
The California Highway Patrol reported recusing employees from a winery who were working overnight and had to be airlifted after being trapped by the flames; also about a dozen people had to be rescued from atop Atlas Peak officials reported to the San Francisco Chronicles on Monday.
In some places, whole neighborhoods were destroyed, but thousands of homes were spared and some of the wineries after the predicted high winds, did not spring up.
This blessing gave the 10,000+ firefighters a chance to get ahead of the fire that has consumed thousands of acres.
Families began returning to their homes to shift through debris and salvage whatever they could.
Officials believe the death toll will continue to climb as fire personnel search through the rumble of destroyed homes. However, Sonoma County sheriff deputies have located over 400 missing persons and are working to track down about 200 still reported as missing.
Many survivors are very thankful knowing things could have been different. A husband who fled with his wife and dog minutes before their home was engulfed in flames, was able to return and find his wife’s favorite bracelet in the ashes. A father who sent his family away in a chopper that did not have room for him; thought he would not make it our alive but thankfully another helicopter came and rescued him.
I am sure there will be many more survival and “after the fire stories” to come and each one I feel is a miracle.
I prayed for supernatural rain to put out the fires but instead, God sent a few windless days.
As we pray for all the devastation around us we can rejoice in all the lives, homes and businesses spared.
We grieve with those who have lost loved ones and property and believe out of worse disaster God can breathe new life into any situation.
A helping hand, a listening ear, an open wallet or a simple prayer because we do not know when we will be on the receiving end of the next disaster or emergency and need a miracle.
Let’s just do what we can.