WE ARE THANKFUL FOR YOUR CONTINUED PRAYERS: Today’s requests are at the bottom of this post.
The Lowell Fire that touched down roughly 15-20 miles south west of Camp Alta on Saturday July 25th has now officially been burning for three days. Yesterday July 26th proved to be a day of clarity. First, our friends at YubaNet informed us that the fire had actually only burned 1,500 acres. This was substantially different than the reported 4,000 acres (1,000 acres per hour) and growing report that had shocked most by the end of day Saturday. YubaNet explained in a post the reason for the difference in acreage in the following manner: “Fires, during initial attack, are not mapped. They are eyeballed from the sky – through the smoke – and on the ground, again with flames and smoke. Now that the fire has been mapped by a plane carrying an Infrared camera, the next acreage updates will be much more precise.”
In addition to the clarity in acreage we spent the majority of the day breathing in clear air. To our surprise the overnight wind consistently blew in the direction of Grass Valley and Nevada City. This left us without any residual smoke all day. If it had not been for the planes and helicopters shaking the tops of our trees we would have had no idea that a fire was even taking place.
Therefore Camp Alta proceeded with things as usual. We welcomed in 100 plus campers for another week of camp in God’s presence yesterday afternoon. Our ministry partners from Laguna Chinese Baptist Church and Cornerstone Community Church of Sacramento placed their trust in God and embraced the reality of hosting camp near an active forest fire. Below is an image of a scene during dinner on our patio last night as a bit of smoke filled the sky.
Today July 27th, we awoke to reports that CalFire is anticipating the Lowell Fire to be fully contained by August 1st. Now this does not mean that the fire will be done burning by this date. It simply means that the crews are hoping to have a full handle on it by this time. We also received news that 5-10 mph winds are supposed to start blowing N/NW in the direction of Alta today. This means our campers and community will be submerged in smoke. It also means that there is potential for the fire to redirect.
We ask that you would continue to pray for God’s hand on this fire. Please pray that the winds don’t redirect the fire. We ask that you would pray for the crews that have been working tirelessly on it, their families, and those fighting it from the air (4 firefighters were reportedly submitted to the UC Davis burn center last night). Please be praying for our guests. They have not been distracted by the planes, but the smoke is already having an impact on them this morning. And continue to pray that our faith and our campers faith will be deepened as we lean on Jesus in this time. Thanks for your faithful support. We have been amazed at the amount of people that have reached out.