After my husband and I left our home and studio with our three dogs last Wednesday, when the forecast for the night ahead of us was merging fires in the close-by hills to the east, north and west of us and lingering fires in the south, we weren't sure what we would come back to. We somewhat prepared our home for the fires and grabbed what we thought was necessary in case our home would burn down. Surrounded by two laptops, cell phones and the TV we closely followed the developments from a tiny hotel room in Davis, an hour north-east of Napa.
It was heartbreaking to see how the flames devoured entire neighborhoods and brave firefighters from all over the country were working tirelessly to safe our homes and businesses. We came back on Friday, exhausted from sleepless nights and consumed by worries about our communities. The air was so hazy and toxic that we decided to leave the valley again. We finally came back on Sunday and since then have mostly been cleaning the toxic ash off our garden and studio and have spent most of our time inside. The air is still toxic and the smell of the fires has been all consuming.
We know we are lucky and that there are so many families and businesses that have to start from zero again. Yes, our communities will work through this but it will take a lot of time and money to rebuild what was destroyed.