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When I was little and we lived in Sherman, Texas, the field next to our house caught on fire. I can still remember the fire trucks barrelling up the road and parking next to the fence and in the driveway. My parents were out and my brother and I had a babysitter and she was panicking. So was I. The fire was like this huge, untamed monster eating everything in its path. I remember being afraid for the poor cows I’d always seen from my bedroom window.

To this day I have a healthy fear of fire.

The pictures coming out of California are tragic and terrifying. I know thousands of people have lost their homes, but it’s their lives that mean more. Can you imagine being faced with a wall of fire? Paradise, California is essentially gone. There are three main fronts: the Campfire (northern part of California), the Woolsey and Hill fires (southern part of California).

A photo from NASA of the wildfires

James Woods, who has done a yeoman’s job of tweeting and re-tweeting from his Twitter account about the missing during the past five days of fires, has provided a link for people who want to contribute and help the victims. It’s a list of organizations accepting donations: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2018/11/216602/help-california-fire-victims-paradise-malibu-aid

Something a person said about horses struck me as painfully poignant. If you can’t get your horses into a trailer and evacuate them, remove their halters, and allow them to go free after you’ve written your phone number on their hooves with a Sharpie or spray painted the number on their flanks.

May God protect all the people and the animals in the path of these fires.