The landmarks of her family are gone, forever.
We tried to keep up with the numbers, which were more than numbers to us, because Jocelyn’s home was at the center of the news. Jocelyn and I met in Santa Rosa, CA. She had grown up there, her parents had grown up there, her grandparents had grown up there — three generations graduated from the iconic Santa Rosa High School — and her great-grandparents had selected Santa Rosa when they arrived from Italy and New England. As of this writing (10/10/17), here are some of the numbers we are keeping up with , as we COUNT THE COST of one of the worst fires on record in California’s history:
“At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 were injured on Monday as massive wildfires swept through parts of California, destroying more than 2,000 residences and buildings, authorities said.
Firefighters were battling 17 fires across multiple counties around the state as of late Monday night, authorities said. Intensified by strong winds, the fires charred about 90,000 acres of land and forced nearly 20,000 residents to evacuate.
St. Joseph Health said about 170 patients have been treated, many for burns and smoke inhalation, at three of its hospitals, including two in Sonoma County, where at least seven people died of fire-related injuries. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said the number of fatalities could increase. Authorities have received more than 100 phone calls to report on people who were purportedly missing, according to one Sonoma County official.
Two of the largest blazes, dubbed the Tubbs and Atlas fires by authorities, burned a combined 52,000 acres of land in Sonoma and Napa counties.”
Sonoma County is the county where we met. It is the county we watch. Jocelyn’s cohort (as she keeps up with friends from school on Facebook) is filled with peers who live and work in Santa Rosa — or at least they did until Monday. Their parents may be retired, they may in some instances have grandparents still living, they have siblings, they have children. Some may even have grandchildren.
So many lives impacted by this devastating fire which still rages.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.