This has been just a horrific week in the Bay Area with the relentless fires just devastating substantial acreage in Northern California. So many of us know friends, family and colleagues that have been impacted, with many losing their homes, possessions and memories. It’s a complete nightmare. Our thoughts continue to be with the people in Santa Rosa, Sonoma and the Napa Valley, and the whole surrounding area. We have been in touch with our clients up there and continue to get updates day by day.
As was the case in the response to the hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, Florida and Puerto Rico, times like this bring communities together. It really puts things into perspective. How we deal with adversity is the true test of character. The people of Northern California are a tough and resilient bunch. Americans have unconditionally come together again to help other Americans.
Many of you remember the Oakland Hills Fire in 1991. That was in October as well. I will never forget it. I was a sophomore at Cal. Three friends and I headed up to the hills behind the Claremont Hotel to see if we could help. We came across a guy who was hosing down his house as his wife was feverishly packing up their station-wagon with their two little girls. We grabbed the hose and shovels to help dig a bit of a fire break until the fire department forced the evacuation. This family left their home not knowing whether they would return to see it. Three days later, I went back up to see if the house survived. It did. Unfortunately, so many other homes did not. I often wonder where that family is today in their lives. I never saw them again. I will never forget that day. I know so many of you won’t either.
As the winds have subsided a bit this week, firefighters from throughout the Western United States have been able to contain more of the relentless flames. There is a lot more to go. We have our fingers crossed for low winds and more containment over the weekend. The rebuilding process can’t begin until these fires are extinguished. The stress level in the area is just unimaginable.
We have been sending clothes and other supplies up there for those who had to leave their homes with just the clothes on their back. Many people still don’t know whether their house has survived the flames. We continue to send positive thoughts as well.
Santa Rosa Strong. Napa Strong. Sonoma Strong.
Mike and entire Bedell Frazier Team