Alembic Club

News & FAQs => News and Announcements => Topic started by: mica on October 16, 2017, 04:34:06 PM

Title: Northern California Fires - October 2017
Post by: mica on October 16, 2017, 04:34:06 PM
We've received so many inquires about our safety, I figured I better make an official news post. I don't put stuff here that often, but this sure qualifies. I've posted a few updates on the Club, and also on our Facebook and Instagram pages during the fires. They are still going in the Hood Mountain and Sugarloaf areas, heading downslope in Napa County. Sonoma has a hot spot to the east, and there is still danger of new fires starting of course, just like any year. We are all in a bit of a daze, certainly stressed out, but our shop here at Alembic and everyone who works here were spared the flames as of now.

My husband and I awoke at about 1:30am on Monday October 9 to house shaking. Was it an earthquake? No, the winds were just that strong (gusts to 75 mph). We thought the windows were going to break from all the tree debris slamming them on the north face of our home. Everyone was awake, who could sleep through this?

Then the smell of smoke. A quick survey revealed a red glow over the ridge to the south of Taylor Mountain. This was shortly followed by the sight of flames coming over the ridge, just 3 miles from us. This fire was put out quickly as the terrain is sort of flat and it's not remote. We typically have small fires in the dry field and foothills every year, and I curse every person I see tossing a lit cigarette out of their car windows. Our local firefighters are fantastic at putting these grass fires out.

But there were more fires. Watching the news and getting the emergency alerts, we knew that some friends were in real danger. I called one at 4:00am who answered the phone, "I'm coming now." She was awakened by the emergency sirens, the bustle of traffic on her street and smoke. She stayed with us until Thursday, and the fire stopped about 4 blocks away from her house. She already knew our house was not in an evacuation area. Then more friends came over for shelter.

We went to Elsie Allen High School Monday afternoon with toiletries and to see what else they might need for the evacuees. Later we returned with items they requested: toothbrushes, toothpaste, underwear, socks, pillows, and a bunch of other stuff that I can't remember now. They had enough water and food at that time, and they needed the room for the people.

We all know people that lost everything. Tony's mom lost her home in northern Santa Rosa. Tony makes the pickups here. A good friend only had time to grab her purse, jump in her car, and flee her home as it was on fire. So happy she made it out.

So everyone is back at work today, although we can hardly call it back to normal. The smoke is still very thick in the air, and we wear masks even to get to the car. The threat from the major fires seems to be reduced greatly to all of our homes, and for that we are grateful. The accounting has begun, and it appears that 1 in 20 homes in Santa Rosa is lost. I haven't seen any of the damaged areas first hand, as they are at the northern edge of town and I want to stay out of the way. From the images looking in person isn't going to inform any more - where there was fire everything is gone.

Schools are closed for this whole week, so it's possible you might hear a little voice answering the phone. UPS is not doing outbound shipments yet, so we appreciate your patience. We are packing things up in preparation for when shipments will commence.

If you want to help now, one way is to donate to the Redwood Empire Food Bank ( They serve our community all year, but they need more help than ever. Thank you.