Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Is Green Valley Lake on fire?"

 Chris and I are happily getting plugged in at our cabin in Green Valley Lake, California after almost 2 years at sea. The other evening, I received an IM from our friend Martin, a Green Valley Lake weekender down in Los Angeles, asking: "Is there a fire in Green Valley Lake? I saw something about it on the news..."

  Well. No sooner did I have a moment to catch my breath from the lightning strikes, tornados and tsunamis we experienced during our sailing adventure, I hear that word:


Green Valley Lake made the cover of TIME magazine 5 years ago, in 2007. 
This photo was taken on Juniper street just around the corner from our cabin. 

Incidentally, Green Valley Lake is a tiny hamlet in the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California (see the little red star above), about 2 hours east of Los Angeles.

Anyway, after receiving Martin's message, I bolted out onto the deck and peered up between the Ponderosas to the twilight sky. I was relieved to see nothing but the deepening blue of evening, and not a wiff of smoke. 

I went online and did some quick research.  Damn. A headline proclaimed there was a fire in Green Valley, only 5% contained. 

Upon further research, I was relieved to find that the fire is in a place near 
Santa Clarita called Green Valley. NOT Green Valley Lake.

Green Valley is one BIG word away from Green Valley Lake. 
What a difference a little lake makes.

Anyway, the good news is the fire is now under control in Green Valley (it's called the Powerhouse Fire), and we get to heave another big sigh of relief here in Green Valley Lake. 

Our town lost 100 cabins here during that fire in 2007, including 9 on our street alone. Hundreds more burned in neighboring Running Springs and Lake Arrowhead (photo courtesy of the LA Times). 

We have many friends who lost their homes and businesses. The fire burned 30 feet onto our property, but thankfully our cabin was spared. 

Fire remains a constant threat. But like any other natural disaster, all we can do is prepare, hope for the best and live life fully each day.

Right now, all eyes are on Oklahoma and Missouri as tornado after tornado touches down and destroys towns and lives like a giant buzzsaw.

This is the EF-5 that obliterated parts of Moore, Oklahoma last week. Such a horrifying photo. 

In the end, no matter where or how we live, there are certain risks we take. I've been thinking lately about what location on Planet Earth will be safest during these coming years of climate change. 

But honestly, between earthquakes, twisters, tsunamis, landslides, hurricanes, floods, lightning and devastating winter blizzards, none of us are getting off scott free. Every location has it's risks.

Looks like we're all in this together.

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