As COVID-19 has raged on for far too many months, I've been increasingly worried about what would happen here in California as summer approached. What would people do when temperatures soar and the usual cooling centers they depend on (such as the mall) aren't open? What about Public Safety Power Shutdowns (PSPS), when people flock to libraries for the internet access they need for work and school? While our libraries are technically open, the capacity is extremely limited and you have to make a reservation for a 1-hour time slot to visit. And the biggest concern of all - what if fires force people to evacuate? Where can displaced people go when social distancing means the usual places can only hold a tiny fraction of their usual capacity, and friends may be reluctant to welcome people into their homes? I desperately hoped that we would be spared the horror of a natural disaster occurring during a pandemic. We were not.
On Sunday, August 16 we were woken up at 4:00 am with crazy wind and lightning. Lightning is very rare here, but when it does happen, it comes with rain. Not this time. Dry lightning, strong winds, and golden hills mean that a single strike could start a fire that could spread quickly. I wasn't too scared for us, as there was quite a bit of time between the flashes and booms, but I was worried for wherever it was the lightning was striking. Over the next day, the so-called 'lightning siege' consisted of over 10,000 strikes that started hundreds of fires, including three in next-door Napa County. By the Tuesday, August 18th, those fires were sending a lot of smoke our direction.
This is an ADVISORY due to a wildfire north of Fairfield near Pleasants Valley Rd and Cherry Glen Rd. This advisory is for the following areas in Fairfield:
Residential areas east of I-80, north of Manuel Campos Rd
Residential areas west of I-80, off Hilborn Rd and Lyon
Residential areas off Rancho Solano Pkwy
We will update when and if an EVACUATION ORDER is issued.
Thankfully, there were no structures or lives lost in Fairfield. Unfortunately, many in nearby Vacaville were not so lucky. My heart breaks for them.