Last night a gentle rain began to fall over Napa Valley. In Calistoga we got a welcome 0.36″ of precipitation. I cannot remember the last time rainfall was so welcome (which shows how quickly I forget the 5+ year drought that just ended).
When we returned to Calistoga from our evacuation on Monday, the valley was still ablaze. Our Cabernet vineyard in the hills above Oakville was surrounded on three sides by towers of flame. A trio of helicopters made endless loops scooping water from Robert Mondavi Vineyard (thank you!!!) and dumping the water on those burning hills just above.
I drove down-valley yesterday and the flames are completely extinguished, revealing burn scars on the hillsides. Thank you firefighters, first responders, and everyone who came to save our homes and livelihoods.
The fires began the night of Sunday, October 8. We held on until we faced mandatory evacuation on Wednesday, October 11. In the interim, the fires laid waste to much of Santa Rosa (our nearest big city), the eastern and western sides of the city of Napa, and so much more.
As we sat in exile, we could only hope that we would have a home–and a town–to return to. We are so grateful to all who made that hope a reality.
We are deeply aware of how fortunate we are, and of how much our friends and neighbors have lost. If you would like to help those in need, we recommend donating to the Napa Valley Community Foundation: https://latino-community-foundation.networkforgood.com/…/38…
For other reputable suggestions, please look here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article177964926.html
Another smoky scene from Wednesday, October 11, the day we evacuated.
This picture does not convey how red the sun was through the smoke.