Angora Fire Letters (Since 2:14 p.m. Thursday) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Angora Fire Letters (Since 2:14 p.m. Thursday)

Thank you so much for opening your hearts, closets, and wallets for victims of the Angora fire. The response from our community as well as others has been literally overwhelming. Right now all of the donation centers are full to overflowing with more donations promised on the way.

First Baptist has even secured furniture from its sister parish in Sacramento. Now we need some large trucks and gas money to bring it up here. The other problem is that we have no place to store it. I’m asking the community for a favor. Can someone help us get this furniture up here? Plus, is there anyone out there who can loan us retail or warehouse space to store all of the donations for a couple months?

The displaced haven’t really had time to pick out the things they need (probably don’t even know where they’re going to live yet) and I really don’t want to see all of the generosity that has been directed our way to be wasted.

With so many empty store fronts (indeed, some have been vacant for years) in South Lake Tahoe, there must be someone able to donate to this cause.

Please contact me if you have any leads. Also, when we do find storage space, we’re going to need some bodies to move all the stuff. Could be fun … I mean, we could have a barbeque afterward.

Let me know if you’re interested.

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My house on 620 Zuni was the one the young men ” Josh Boles and Cory Volkmars ” saved with my garden hose on Sunday at the start of the Angora fire. I can’t begin to thank them for what they did. I know it was them because they told me they had to remove a frog sprinkler to get to the hose and no one would of known that.

We returned Thursday to find ours and our two neighbors’ houses standing “unscathed by the fire that consumed six houses on our street and noticed our garden hoses stretched to burned areas within feet of our house on two sides and wondered who it was. Now we know and are so proud of the boys that did this for us.

Words cannot express our gratitude and “Mom and Dad” ” you raised some great kids! Thank you again! I believe by saving our house you actually saved all three. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Being a resident of Tahoe for 15 years, I don’t understand what some people think when they start a campfire, extinguish a cigarette, shoot off fireworks, or anything to do with fire.

The local community that lives here year-round understands the local laws and mostly Mother Nature’s laws when dealing with fire. But with human ignorance, since 1994 I can name three fires all human caused.

1996: Foothill Fire. Cause: Two kids pouring gasoline on a lizard. Result: Fire burned up to to the top of Kingsbury.

2002: Gondola Fire. Cause: Cigarette discarded from a gondola. Result: Fire burned northwest, forcing the evacuation of many Kingsbury residents, including most of the timeshare resorts.

June 24: Angora Fire. Cause: Illegal campfire, well you know the details.

June 25: Spot fire behind Mont Bleu Resort. Cause: Unknown.

June 30: Spot fire somewhere around the base of the Sky Express chairlift. Cause: Unknown.

So, I plead with anyone who visits the Tahoe Basin to use good judgement with anything that requires fire. And if you accidentally set a fire, please call 911 if you can’t control it, as we local citizens would rather minimize damage than point blame.

What a difference a week makes. The fire threw everything off schedule further than I’d ever imagined. Luckily for me, that’s been the greatest impact it’s had on my life. So many of my good friends have had their lives turned completely upside down, with devastating effects on both happiness and fortune. My heart goes out to them. At this writing, though, no one appears to have died. Many pets and wild things were lost, of course, and there’s great enough tragedy in that.

As always, I try to find lessons. I’ve yet to attend any of the “public information” meetings that have been held. They were mostly way too premature for me. I was still trying to deal with threats to my property from an active forest fire, and others were going to meetings. Luminaries descended like lice to get in everyone’s way. What’s that all about?

I put the term “public information” in quotes because they were reported mainly as public gripe sessions. I didn’t have time to read the stories in any detail, but it doesn’t surprise me that’s what they were/are like. Whatever became of the sense of responsibility people once had?

I know: Makes me sound like grampa. Well, I am a grampa, so why shouldn’t I sound like one? And, so what if I do? Maybe we’d all have done a bit better had we listened to the experience of our own grampas.

Time was, we didn’t immediately try to find someone else to blame. Our homes, here in South Lake Tahoe, are in a forest. That’s not someone else’s fault. A lot of them, mine included, don’t have truly defensible space. In some cases, but not that many, the cause of that indefensible space is, at least partly, due to administrative hassles getting approval to cut trees. Those hassles are often as much about money and time as permission. Most often, probably. Certainly so, if you throw in the cost of having a big tree removed by a professional (not a Tahoe Regional Planning Agency issue, though).

TRPA has long been a whipping boy used by locals to vent exasperation of almost every sort. And they’re a great target, if for no other reason than simply that the rich can always do whatever they want, building-wise, because throwing money at an agency is always the easiest way to get its approval. And if that doesn’t work, throw money at lawyers. The poorer of us homeowners up here resent the hell out of the fact that, to do almost anything in the face of not having enough money to throw at the problem, we often wind up bootlegging it.

That’s a lot easier than fixing the system so there’s not this huge inequality in how it works. But it leaves us frustrated and at risk of getting caught and madder than hell. Yet, those of us who look beyond the borders of our own immediate irritation know that TRPA has been a godsend for our lifestyles. What makes Tahoe a wonderful place to live is that it is not city and it is located in the middle of paradise. That first reason, more than anything else, is directly due to the regulations and influence of TRPA, and the League To Save Lake Tahoe, and environmentalists of all sorts. You might even want to give them some credit for the second reason.

Finger-pointing is natural, but extraordinarily unfortunate, for it almost never does anyone any good. And its practice, as exemplified by our litigious society, is debilitating.

The problem isn’t TRPA. If everyone had been willing to live in a little oasis of barren ground in the middle of a forest, which is pretty much what “defensible space” is about, the forest fire wouldn’t have consumed so many houses; almost certainly true. And if we’d have been concerned about it enough to pursue the matter hard enough, TRPA and everyone else would have let us build those little oases.

But we weren’t, and we never will be. We live in a forest because we love the forest. Most of us don’t want oases around our houses. And pretending TRPA stopped us from building them is just rationalizing our own complicity in creating the problem.

So, where’s a lesson in all this? Maybe we should look at the idea of defensible space more realistically. What if we broadened our definition to a place where there would be more than one way of complying with “defensible space” provisions? I think a lot of us who won’t pay in money or time to get permission and professionals to cut trees that are dangerously close to our houses would be willing to do so to install a fire-suppression sprinkler system in those same trees. We do, after all, love the houses, too.

But then we’d need the political will to enforce these new, more reasonable rules, for preventing wildfire is not something you can do alone, i.e. we’d need to support some version of the TRPA. But we’d rather blame it, and all those damned environmentalists, wouldn’t we?

I’m 10 years old and what I have to say is, this community has been so great so I just wan’t to say thank you for for doing what you did and I say,

And thank you, Petra, for placing us in a clean and nice aparment for my mom, dad, and our animals until we can go home! Also, thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Rogers for taking care of two of our dogs.

I am living in Mexico now after 28 years of residing in Tahoe. I would like to send my condolences to all my friends in Tahoe over the Angora fire. I know many of my friends lost their home. I would like people to know that I would like to help in any way I can. Please receive my love.

Thanks to all those who fought the Angora Ridge fire. It was a great effort, you achieved much success in saving hundreds of homes and many acres of wildland. We are sorry so many of our neighbors lost their homes, beloved pets, and belongings.

I want to suggest that we look back to see how the agencies enpowered to protect our community failed to do so. Which of their policies have been successful, which have not, and what can we do about it?

Now we as move ahead, we can look forward to a new era in Tahoe when we insist on a voice in the process of how we are governed. I hope we will form a citizen watchdog organization to provide our input to non-representive agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. I know I can be more involved, and I am sure others can be also, to insure our voices are heard and that we have a positive impact on our community.

This fire is a wake-up call. Cigarettes should be banned from the Tahoe Basin during fire season. Why are officials not looking for the criminals in this crime? Aren’t discarded cigarette butts litter? It makes me angry to walk along a trail in the beautiful forest or on the shore of the lake and see cigarette butts littering the ground. Especially in the summer. Not only is it bad for wildlife and humans, it is not fire safe!

Bottom line: Smokers are not going to stop throwing their butts around. They’ve done it for too long without regard for others. Ban the things and enforce the ordinance! Casinos be damned! People will come even if they can’t smoke. Let’s stop letting smoker’s rights and feelings rule over common sense. As one of my students said this year, “smoke and you’ll choke!” Cigarettes are no good for anyone but the tobacco companies.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Living in Tahoe from 1984 to 1991 and going to school at South Tahoe High (1988), I am heartbroken and saddened to hear of this devastating fire. I have since moved, but have always felt that Tahoe was home. It’s where my heart belongs. There is no other place on earth like it. I have so many memories of the area and know in my heart that I will return.

My heart goes out to the community, my friends and family that are still there. I feel that the community is a strong and will over come this devastating disaster. Stay true to yourself, ban together, work and help each other. You will overcome this disaster. Know that you’re in our hearts.

This commentary will be directed to the wonderful response of the community. There wasn’t an agency or business that wasn’t affected by the disaster fire. Almost everyone in the South Shore community knows someone who lost their home, lost part of their property, had to evacuate or had minor injuries.

We are most grateful to the firefighters, sheriff’s deputies, Barton Hospital, the media (especially the ) and the general public, who made a concentrated effort for safety. With this type of disaster, it is amazing that as of this writing there were no fatalities or major injuries.

The response of the community was overwhelming: People collected bedding, clothes and household items. Many of us gave cash donations to the effort. This collection effort was so successful that they could not accept anymore after three days. What a tribute to our community!

However, I am concerned about the lynch mob reaction to many of the agencies in the basin. It is one thing to be angry at the agency itself; it’s another thing to make personal attacks and threats to its employees. In the case of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, it is the Governing Board that makes policy decisions, not the staff. So, I figure that we need an adjustment of the TRPA Governing Board composition.

I believe that the majority of the board members should be elected with two or three legal residents of each county that surround the Lake. To placate the states and federal interests, each state governor could appoint one person and the president of the United States could appoint one person. In order to make the board members an equal number for both states, you may want to have three board members from each of the two California counties and two members from each of the three Nevada counties.

If the basin community readers agree with my proposal for an please e-mail me at rileski@aol.com. Or, if you don’t agree, please e-mail with your commentary.

I was reading something on Wikipedia the other day regarding the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the lawsuits filed against them in 1984. I found something very interesting. It read,

“The Governing Board adopted a long-range regional plan in April of 1984. The same day, two parties filed suit in federal court claiming they were not convinced the plan would adequately protect the Lake Tahoe environment. The judge in the case effectively ordered a moratorium on new building at Lake Tahoe. The Executive Director of TRPA then called together a consensus group to hammer out another regional plan. After three years of negotiations, the lawsuit was settled and the TRPA Governing Board adopted the 1987 Regional Plan in effect today. This plan is set to expire every 20 years, at which time the agency gets a chance to rewrite its plan and regulations to better protect the environment while enhancing the communities of the Tahoe Basin. The TRPA is embarking on an unprecedented mission to gather public input, called Pathway 2007, as it prepares to write its next 20-year regional plan in 2007.”

Now, I know that Wikipedia can be a very unreliable source for things at times, but it does accurately state some facts at times. So, if what this particular article said is true, I just find it a simply unique coincidence that this fire happened right as the agency is about to retire their 20-year regional plan. Or they already did, I just don’t know, but one thing is for sure: It’s extremely interesting, and I hope I’m not the only one who thinks so.

In an article in the today, there is a paragraph that upset me greatly: “LifeLine Crisis Relief Grants are intended to help individuals who have suffered a devastating personal disaster and lack the financial or physical resources to care for their pets. The grants typically range from $100 to $500 depending on the purpose and the situation. To qualify, animals must be spayed or neutered.”

I think having to qualify according to the purpose and the situation is bad enough, but to say that the animals is discriminatory. What do they plan to do? Throw the animal out the door if it hasn’t been spayed or neutered? I really think they should their policies or close down, since they don’t really care about animals.

As a former resident of Tahoe, my thoughts and prayers have been focused on the Tahoe area and people since I heard about the Angora fire on Monday.

My mom still lives in the area and as we talked I realized that though this is a tragedy for the whole town, and I pray for a speedy recovery for those who lost their homes, however there is a silver lining. I thank God that this fire has not taken any lives and the winds did not kick up on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday as forcasted.

In addition, it appears that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency realizes that they have more work to do to keep the residents of this beautiful community appraised of their rights.

All of my prayers are with you and I pray the fire is extinguished soon so you may all start on your recovery phase.

God bless!

Memorial weekend I went for a 10-mile walk in the Lake Tahoe area, through neighborhoods that border meadows, forests and homes. Along the route, there were the signs of the homeless ” the side trail into the thickets, with nearby shopping carts, parts of bicycles, probably stolen and stripped for parts and, of course, trash. Well, the Tahoe fire is an example of not seeing the true cost of the homeless and getting people that need help treatment.

Fortunately, nobody died, or at least their bodies have not been found yet. This time the homeless intruded into peoples’ lives, cost millions, but perhaps will bring the issue of the mentally ill out for a few minutes only to be shoved aside by more important things like Paris Hilton claiming to read the Bible. If you think it’s a leap to say homelessness and mental health go hand in hand, it’s not. True, not all of the homeless have mental issues, but one needs only to look at the homeless scene to know mental health plays a huge role.

These people reflect a bigger issue with how we deal with, or hide from, the mental health issues in our state. Perhaps some of your readers have some thoughts on how to solve or at least get help to these people. The state’s mental health care system went away in the ’80s during budget cuts and, combined with privacy laws, keep these people from getting assistance. The police can pick them up, and “5150” them, but they are often out without getting any help, before the officer can finish the paperwork. Because of privacy rules, when someone is 5150’d, even family members cannot get information nor suggest further treatment within the 72-hour hold time.

The system to help is broken. It is a matter of money, and these people do not have any money or are represented by anyone who cares enough. Perhaps if there was a profit in caring for the people with mental health issues, this could be fixed. Just the stigma of the mental health label has people turning away and not wanting to do something. The people we elect to fix this see no reason to tackle this because there are few votes from this group. Again, perhaps some of your readers will have some thoughts on getting the elected officials to put a workable program in place. Sorry, I lost it for a second: Thinking elected officials will actually do something other than posture to get re-elected.

After following the news of the fire in my beloved Lake Tahoe, I felt compelled to write my condolences to all my friends, and the people who have lost their homes and possessions. The photo of Delicia Speirs especially hit home. My heart goes out to you, Delicia, and also to Cory and Cass Amacker.

Although I no longer live in Tahoe, I feel fortunate to have been raised in such a magical place. I will always cherish my memories of growing up there, and will always consider myself a Lake Tahoe resident. You can leave Lake Tahoe, but Lake Tahoe never leaves you.

So it really pains me to see the devastation that has taken place. Especially because the cause of it was due to carelessness, and thus quite preventable. The lake in the sky is a unique and special place. We should all take better care of it so that future generations will be able to enjoy all its magic and beauty in the way that it should be.

My heart goes out to all of the people affected by this fire. My family lost a house back in 1966 but it was not from a huge fire like this one. The pain is there just the same.

I am not from the Lake Tahoe area, but from an area in northwest Washington state where people love to go to get away as well, Whidbey Island.

One thing about Whidbey Island is that there was ever a fire, there are only two ways off with one’s vehicle ” north end via the Deception Pass Bridge or the south end via the two ferries that operate there. These ferries are suppose to hold 1,200 passengers and 124 vehicles on each run, but that changes with the load and what is involved, i.e. campers, motor homes and such. Personally, I would just head for the Puget Sound and get ready to start over, as there would be no other option.

On the other side of this issue. Coming from an island and having to deal with the traffic that summer brings, I don’t think the majority of the visitors realize how of a difference them being there makes to a community. The people that are area residents sure do notice though! Traffic is a big one and the reminders that are left behind.

So any visitors that are reading this: Please be a good neighbor! If you packed it in, pack it out and be mindful of what you are doing at your camp area. Leave it as you found it, so others can enjoy it like you did!

To all the residents who lost their homes and possessions, I wish to express my deepest sympathy and to let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I’ve heard of at least six families I was acquainted with, who’ve lost everything.

I hope that the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will become more realistic, now that the damage is done.

Hello to all (again) from sunny Southern California.

I am encouraging all my friends down here to from Lake Tahoe during the upcoming holiday week. Everyone up there needs to spend time with each other, not fighting traffic at the Wye. As an expatriate Tahoe resident, I’d like to encourage everyone up there to have as good a holiday as possible, and help each other with the cleanup. Nonresidents don’t belong there right now.

Just an opinion!

We are heading into our own fire season, and for much the same reasons: Unusually dry weather, extremely low rainfall, and masses of dead vegetation that have not been, and cannot be, cleared. I can only hope that SoCal residents take a hint from up north, and pull together like you all seem to be doing.

As a resident here in the Tahoe Basin for over 44 years, I am saddened by the loss of many of our fellow residents’ homes from the Angora fire. We have all known for many years the basin was in need of some serious forest management.

Today I want to respond to some recent comments made by the executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, John Singlaub, regarding his being shocked by the public backlash and the need for the community to blame someone about the Angora fire. In his comments he states since his appointment to the TRPA he has worked to increase defensible space around our homes and I find that interesting.

On Tuesday, June 26, I received two site evaluations for Best Management Practices from the TRPA for local multi-family residences. Both of these documents clearly state that I am entitled to a 5-foot setback from the residence for fire protection purposes and the rest of my lot that does not have grass must have pine needles, wood chips or mulch, all of which are extremely flammable. I would like to know who Mr. Singlaub is trying to kid with his statements. Was he show boating for the governors while they were here? A 5-foot setback from a residence for fire protection clearance is a joke. Any fire marshal or anyone with any experience in fire protection will tell you that 5 feet is totally inadequate and changes need to be made.

The time has come to stop the excuses. The TRPA, Forest Service and local residents need to work together to find some solutions to ensure that we do not have a recurrence of this type of event in the future.

I want to add my thanks to the firefighters, law enforcement and all the volunteers who worked so hard to protect and assist our community throughout this tragedy.

One designated city department or relief organization needs to take advantage of the huge influx of tourists over the Fourth of July holiday period. The majority of people driving in will be looking for an easy way to help those displaced by the fire ” they need a conspicuous and unavoidable location for rendering this aid.

On Highway 50 in Meyers (and similar strategic thoroughfares), a formal roadside donation station should be established. An official city vehicle with its yellow emergency lights on and colorful banners can clearly communicate to all those coming into Tahoe that this is the time and place for donating the funds to help the victims of this tragedy.

Please, get this money for those who need it before it travels across the state line!

As a former resident and former owner of two of the beautiful homes that perished in the fire, I extend my condolences. It was gut-wrenching to see my last home go up in flames on the CBS coverage, and the homeowner interviewed on how much he loved his home. We did, too, as well as living in the Tahoe basin.

Our hearts go out to our friends and former neighbors that are still in Tahoe, as well as all who have suffered from the fire.

I am a native of Lake Tahoe; my father was Jack Holt, fire chief out in Meyers in the ’70s. I was raised there, rode a bike out to Meyers from Al Tahoe as a kid. We moved from the lake and accepted this process. This is when preservationists began their work. Money moved into Lake Tahoe and money tried to dictate what was right and now money is trying to set policy … again.

If you live in a National Forest or protected area, natural occurrences will proceed. Money never accounts for that; in fact, there are those who say that the biggest failure of the free market was its inability to see global environmental effects of pollution. Now those money people want to blame the preservationist for not being able to cut trees.

Narcissism is a social disease. If you really had a conception of where you lived and the context of your presence … this natural process would have been expected. Unfortunately, people with money think that they control the world, yet they can’t even control their disease.

I say get the out if you don’t understand the natural world. You are the reason for the fragile state of the forests, and more so of the Earth.

This (11:30 N, 165:30 E) seems like a good spot to exercise your “right,” attain critical mass and thus escape velocity. Good riddance.

There is a saying that when you are dealt lemons, make lemonade.

Those of you who have had your house destroyed have a unique opportunity to rebuild your home with all new appliances, better insulation, a chance to incorporate solar energy, put windows in different places and a few more of the bells and whistles you may have wished you had before the fire.

This is an excellent opportunity to band together now with your neighbors, Sierra Pacific and county government, with the purpose of eliminating the unsightly power poles that too many of us have to tolerate. With your trees gone, your new power poles will stand out in an unflattering way in your new skyline. Why not put them underground right now so you see the mountains in the distance instead of looking through unsightly power lines?

Your situation is like starting a new subdivision from almost scratch. I suggest you band together and take advantage of the opportunity and make lemonade.

I wish you a speedy recovery.

I lived in Lake Tahoe on Tata from 1989 to 1994 and I’ve always told everyone it was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I have followed the fire news daily and have cried daily for the folks and the community. I loved the small-town community when I was there and I know everyone will get through this and that other Tahoe residents will open up their hearts and homes to help the displaced.

Our family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire community.

Although it is difficult to think of celebration at this time, and coming from another country, but having lived in the United States and in Tahoe for the past eight years, I believe that the Fourth of July celebrations encompass all those feelings that we can share together as a community and a nation.

  Not only do these celebrations including the fireworks bring celebration, but they will bring a renewed faith to our community to encourage tourists to return, and that the families and business owners here in Tahoe will have the support and confidence to keep on moving forward through these difficult times.

Tahoe is a tourism-based town that needs to recover quickly in the area of having visitors return, so that the town and all those citizens displaced can feel comfortable that they are being supported at their jobs as well as their immediate personal situations.

Congratulations to all the businesses in Tahoe, Carson Valley, Reno and Sacramento that gave and continue to give their undying support of this tragic event. And thanks to the thousands of volunteers who went above and beyond to help out in every area possible to ensure the care of the victims, those displaced and all of the emergency service personnel.

 

To all my friends at the lake, I wish a quick recovery. I am saddened by your losses.

In my years at Tahoe I have never forgotten how the residents pull together. It really is something special.

All the best.

The devastation of the Angora fire has left me heartbroken and deeply saddened. I was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, and to now see my hometown receiving national coverage for a tragedy is shocking.

This letter is to express how impressed I am by the local youth. I logged on to my MySpace account and onto my Facebook account to see all my Tahoe friends with images of South Lake Tahoe with expressions such as “Strength in Our Community.” Not only do these people show the strength of a small community, but they have also helped to gain emotional and financial support from people outside of Lake Tahoe as well as bring awareness to the impact of devastation from the fire. All over these two networks, young people have expressed their praise of the firefighters, asked for volunteers and donations, and offered their condolences.

I am so proud of the youth of our community. Their strength and courage has helped many people to get through this tragedy.

I sent the following letter to the editor in July of 2002 before I moved, after no success trying to protect my home from fire probability.

“Interesting you should discuss defensible space in your headline article of July 9th. Over a year ago my concern for defensible space around my property here at Lake Tahoe and my desire to comply with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Best Management Practices led me to acquire and read the chapter, Defensible Space, in the TRPA-sponsored book, ‘Home Landscaping Guide for Lake Tahoe and Vicinity.’ After extensively reviewing the guidelines from that chapter and computer-generated vegetation plots of my property, I determined some trees were located too close and needed thinning.

A call to TRPA resulted in a visit by their representative authorized to mark trees for removal. That appointment had very disappointing results with a confrontational attitude from the representative who refused to even look at the computer model or their own issued book! His opinion was of a ‘very remote chance’ of fire and no need to thin the overlapping trees. I find it very curious an agency that helps produce and deliver a document for guidelines to comply with its own regulations, can then rationalize them away as a ‘very remote chance’ when their interest differ.

As last week’s explosive fire events demonstrate, and as your paper suggests, we need defensible space. I just wish we were allowed.”

I even required the inspector to write on my permit and document his refusal to mark trees, so when the fire came I could show my insurance company that I tried!

I have to wonder why over zealous politicians and corporate moguls are being allowed to compromise the health and safety of the residents of South Lake Tahoe by encouraging visitors to head up to the region to join in on the Fouth of July festivities.

Fire officials say they have 70 percent containment on the Angora wildfire. They’ve also said they could loss control of this blaze again with unpredictable wind gusts. Why in the world would you encourage tens of thousands of people to put themselves in such an extremely volatile situation?

Are these money-minded fools on drugs or what?

I am heartbroken to hear of the destruction caused by this Angora Fire. I pray for all my dear friends who have lost so much, and I thank the wonderful firefighters and emergency personnel for saving so many lives and property.  After living through the Gondola fire just a few years back, and just moving off the hill after closing escrow on my home two-and-a-half months ago after 15 years in South Lake Tahoe, this is heart-wrenching to see this beautiful community suffering. 

I see this community working together and I hope for the rebuilding of this wonderful paradise on Earth. I hope that Lake Tahoe residents can avoid finger pointing as to blame, as this does not assist in immediate recovery efforts. I believe that only working together as a community will. May God bless all of you. My daughter, Jennifer Biller, and I love Lake Tahoe and all of you, and Lake Tahoe will always be our home.

 

I was amazed and heartbroken at what I saw and read on the news this past week. My home town was on fire. I was born and raised in South Tahoe. I attended Bijou, went to the middle school and graduated from the high school in 1984. My family has lived in Tahoe for more than 50 years now, and as we watched from a distance the flames, the distress of the evacuees and the destruction of what I still consider my home, I was brought to tears.

I continue to follow the progress of this wildfire daily, mostly from the Web site as I have found it to be the most accurate and newsworthy source throughout this incident; thank you for your thoroughness and attention to providing timely, accurate information to the outside world. I have also been quite taken to reading the letters from locals and others who have grown up in the area, including many people I know; I am so very sorry to see the losses they are experiencing.

The letters of the community reaching out to one another in this time of need and extreme stress for many, has filled my heart with hope that Tahoe will now and always be God’s country. I do not believe that any fire will diminish the beauty that exists in Tahoe if we all look closely; it is the people and the community who will maintain the magnificence that is Tahoe, as it has already started with the people who live and work in Tahoe. I read the letters and know that current past and future residence of Tahoe will come together to keep what is now and will always be a wonderful place to live.

Thank you to the community that I remember; you can hold your heads high as you stand together.

In response to the letter from Jon and Susan Allasia, allow me to provide some clarifying facts. The current quarterly water and sewer utility bills that are due by June 30 cover service from April 1 through June 30. The vast majority of the services (93 percent) had already been delivered at the time the fire began on June 24.

Within hours after the fire began, the board of directors of the South Tahoe Public Utility District requested an agenda item be placed on the July 5 board meeting to address and modify a number of fire-related customers service issues to lessen the burden on those customers affected by the fire. Topics to be discussed and potentially modified include waiving all penalties for late payments for the second quarter billing, streamlined application process for those who have lost their homes and wish to rebuild, as well as a waiver of water and sewer fees during the reconstruction period for an extended period of time.

The district is committed to making the recovery process as painless as possible. It is also noteworthy that the district was able to provide an uninterrupted water supply for the firefighters as well as the homes in and around the affected areas. Our crews have worked hundreds of nonstop hours to ensure the firefighters had one of the most important tools to fight a fire ” water. I invite all community members to attend the July 5 meeting and see the genuine concern the district and its board of directors have for the victims of this fire.

People need to stop blaming the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and other environmental groups for the cause of the fire. You all sound like a bunch of animals. You are making them sound like they were the ones who went out and started the fire themselves. If it were not for them, the lake itself and the town would look like trash. Yes, they may be strict about some policies. But wherever you go, wherever you move to, there is always going to be some agancy regulating building projects, and that such, if you don’t like it then that’s tough.

It was not TRPA fault that this horrible fire started … Lake Tahoe is in a forest, there are going to be living as well as dead trees, brush and the millions of pine needles that fall per day. Trust me, I know; I lived there for 15 straight days. People are just looking for somewhere to point fingers, and until we find out the cause of the Angora fire, the TRPA will be an easy target. The fire was started by the people who were there illegally with a campfire or badly disposed cigarette. And, to the people who are name-calling, referring to the employees as “tree huggers,” and “hippies;” and to go on to say, “Birkenstock-wearing, tie-dyed, hippie environmentalist allies” … I have one thing to say to you: Grow up. Stop the name-calling, it’s not going to help you go back into the past and stop the fire from happening. Concentrate on the now, and try to help out the community with action not finger-pointing and name-calling like a child would. Again, God bless everyone who suffered a loss and our community of South Lake Tahoe!

In the wake of this tragic event, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is the likely scapegoat. They might not be the easiest department to deal with, but homeowners need to take some responsibility here. I own three houses in Tahoe and within the first month of owning each of them, I had the TRPA come out to mark which trees I could remove. It cost $52 each time, but they were prompt and explicit as to what I could do for “defensible space.” I then hired a tree services to “clean” up each yard.

As I look over my three “clean” residences, I’m extremely dissappointed that my neighbors on all sides haven’t done the same. They saw what I was doing, but cited cost as the reasons they haven’t taken care of their yards. You can drive through any neighborhood in Tahoe and see trees and yards that need clearing. I hope the TRPA will extend their power and start driving through neighborhoods telling people what needs to be done. A few dollars invested in your property is a small price to pay considering the potential dangers to your’s and other’s properties.

John and I called South Lake Tahoe our home for over 25 years; we moved to North Carolina three years ago. I owned The Clip Joint for 20 years and John worked as a musician and was a member of the stage crew at Harrah’s. We have been so incredibly saddened to see this terrible fire change the lives of so many people, pets and wildlife. Locals are a tough breed: We have been through the blizzards, the floods, the gas line break, the landslides and fire, but we always bounce back.

Let’s hope that some changes will be made to let homeowners create defensible space around their homes. Our thoughts are with you all.

I live in a high-risk wildfire area, which is in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains 350 miles south of Tahoe. Our county just increased the defensible space from 50 to 100 feet. We have had wildfires start from a variety of sources: Vehicles backfiring, kids playing with matches, vacationers using fireworks, horses’ shoes skimming a rock, homeowners doing amateur electrical work, arson, etc.

The fire that threatened the giant Sequoia trees five years ago was started from a hot dog that shot hot grease as it was being cooked on a campfire. The current fire that is being battled (in Kern County) was ignited by a shotgun shell. I get angry every time I read a statement from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency about feeling wrongly blamed. I think it is about being blameworthy. If TRPA accepts the responsibility of setting defensible spaces, the same measure of responsibility should be accepted when the space is detrimental in wildfire.

Earlier today I read an article in the about the Lake Tahoe community’s anger towards the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The article basically stated that the only reason we were angry with the TRPA was shock due to the terrible tragedy. It seems to me that if shock was the only reason, we could easily have chosen to hate anybody. The fact that the community chose to direct its anger at the TRPA with such unity indicates that there is probably some justification to the anger. I have a few of my own rationales that I would like to share with you.

Several years ago a man was fined $250,000 for cutting down several trees Now, if this type of control over our lives is not disturbing in and of itself, let’s look further. Let’s assume that this man cutting down his trees was horribly devastating to the lake clarity, how is fining the man going to make the lake cleaner? It seems to me a more appropriate punishment would have been to make the man replant the trees? Bottom line, you can do anything you want with the TRPA as long as you have enough money.

A friend of mine was remodeling his house recently and working very hard to follow TRPA regulations. Once construction was completed, he thought a path through his back yard would help aesthetically. So he raked a roughly 3-foot wide path and outlined it with sticks and rocks found in his back yard. When the TRPA inspector came out to inspect the final construction, my friend was fined for his path because it was not a part of the building plans! There was no gravel, sand, brick, concrete or anything else covering the path ” it was just a dirt path cleared from pine needles and outlined with natural rocks and sticks from the property.

Two years ago the TRPA was looking into a restoration project near Granlibakkan toward north Tahoe. They wanted to tour the prospective property and decided that the best thing to do was to charter a 56-foot yacht for $3,000 an hour for a total of seven hours totalling $21,000. If that gross misuse of funds does not stand out, how about this? That yacht had two 900-horsepower diesel engines, each one pumping out more exhaust than two big yellow school buses. Does not sound great for lake clarity, especially when you figure that this exhaust is being pumped out directly over the surface of the lake whereas a bus would have accomplished the same goal putting out less than a quarter of the pollutants and would have done so ashore where it would have been further from the lake.

I believe wholeheartedly in protecting and preserving Lake Tahoe. The beauty of the lake is the reason that most locals choose to live in Lake Tahoe. However, the TRPA has taken too much control of our lives. What is even more disturbing is that they take all their power without listening to the voice of the people; much like the colonial British, they are setting policies and fines without our representation. One would think that as a “government” agency they would ultimately need to put their policies into a vote, especially when they want to remove our rights as landowners over our property.

The article quoted a TRPA official as saying that the reason the TRPA could not thin the forest to a healthy level is because of funding. In the article she only mentions funding that comes from either the state or federal government; what about all the money raised by the various fines and fees? Where is that money going? Also, with Chinese industrial expansion driving the cost of many building supplies through the roof, the U.S. economy could use the lumber used from thinning the forests, but thinning and the best part is that the TRPA and government would not have to pay a dime, all they would have to do is mark the trees to be cut. The Tahoe forest has roughly five times the number of trees a healthy forest should have and that is due to the TRPA’s strict policies.

These are merely the observations of a long-time Tahoe resident, but if you have any more observations please pass them on. Let’s make sure the rest of Tahoe knows we are angry with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

As I go to the for updates, I realize I’m getting the heartbreaking stories about locals who have lost their homes and their lives as they once knew it. Also, the weather reports from the National Weather Service say we are not out of harm’s way.

Then, I bounce back to the and think of the govenor pushing Fourth of July festivities as well as Stateline going for the buck.  This is upsetting. This is wrong. This is absurd.

I sit here in a hotel room in Reno, getting ready to come back home, but I sense another disaster may be in the works. Why can’t tourists stay home and send funds to our people in need, rather than come up here to party while we’re still not out of the woods? Soaring temperatures, potential high winds, thunderstorms and illegal fireworks spell disaster. A holiday bash is insane and insensitive. I feel we’re setting ourselves up for a Jaws film sequel.

The words tacky and insensitive come to mind. People’s lives are in disrepair. Homes are lost, etc., and we as a community are going to blast off fireworks? The fireworks display always has a measure of risk. Always. (and by the way, I cleaned the beach down there in September and found blasting caps, nylon etc. that was left from the previous display. They do not clean the beach very well, if at all.)

People are trying to get their lives back together. Trying to find a way to function from a hotel room, a tent, a friend’s couch. Personally, I am emotionally frayed, gun-shy if you will. The last thing we need to see is a flood of tourists with their garbage and cigarettes and illegal fireworks. The last thing we need to see is something akin to bombs bursting in the air. Give it break.

Many in the local community are aware that the donation centers are full to overflowing at this point. Displaced people are simply not availing themselves to the goods and services this community has put together for them. Why? I believe the “Mountain Spirit” this town embodies has a good dose of self sufficiency and independence. Maybe too good.

And I also believe a great many of them are still in shock and unable to think about what their needs may be in the weeks or months to come. So, to avoid wasting the many wonderful things this and other communities have donated, I’d like to ask the community another favor. Could someone donate warehouse space so that we can continue to meet the needs of the displaced in the months to come?

I envision 1,000-plus square feet of space filled with clothes, kitchen supplies, cleaning supplies, furniture and ” hey why not? ” sporting goods. I’d like for the people who’ve lost their homes to be able in the months to come to drop by and collect the things they need to start their life over.

What do you think, Tahoe? Do you know of anyone willing to be so boldly generous? Please have them contact me.

Also, listen up you fiercely independent mountain folk:

We’re here for you. It’s just not as much fun without you.

I grew up in Gardnerville and I spent many years living in beautiful South Lake Tahoe. I am a geologist who works for a geotechnical engineering firm and I currently live in Medford, Oregon. The news of the Angora fire has been devastating to me. I understand that there are many ways to donate to those in need. I am looking for a way to donate my time in any way that I can to help those who have suffered tragic losses.

Is there any way that you can connect me with an organization that can help individuals rebuild their homes and their lives? I do not have a lot of money, but I have time to do what ever I can. Please help me find a way to donate my time to make South Lake Tahoe beautiful again.

I am blessed to live in South Lake Tahoe and call it home. Not for all the beauty that surrounds us every day. Not for all the activities and adventures this wonderful place offers, and not for all those wonders that our visitors envy.

I am blessed because of our community and its devotion to each other. Not only in this difficult time, but every day ” sunny, snowy or skies filled with smoke.

My 8-year-old son asked me if he could give a teddy bear or toy to a child after hearing about all the families in need on the radio and television. He picked out a toy from his closet and we went to a drop-off area in town.

Upon arriving I was taken back by piles of giving and the line of cars, people from all walks of life, giving a pillow, blanket, clothing, toiletries, etc.

What struck me the most was to see several children 7 to14 sorting the items to help the other families in need, and my sons unprovoked wanting to help.

Say want you want about our town, but our kids are part of what makes this a special place to live. I am proud to be a part of this community.

Let’s not forget those children who have lost their toys, teddy bears and dolls.

And thank you to all the courageous men and women who helped save our town!

In regard to the letter by Mr. J.T. Davis of South Lake Tahoe. I see he wants to put the blame on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and their radical environmentalist friends. I see he wants to blame Al Gore, I see he wants to blame the Birkenstock-wearing, tie-dyed, hippie environmentalist. Did I miss anyone?

Mr. Davis insults me. I am an environmentalist, I support the Sierra club. I even voted for Al Gore. If he wants to debate facts I will meet him anywhere at anytime; I will tell him this: He better show up with more than his, “Everything is the fault of anyone who does not support G.W. Bush mentality.”

It’s easy to blame someone you don’t like, and I know that people want someone to blame, but the fact is we live in the forest and forests have fires.

Mr. Davis: Just keep on thinking what you want, just keep on putting the blame on who you don’t like. I guess it’s easier for some to do this, than it is to look at the truth.

Contrary to the defenders of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, the accusations of the TRPA’s fines and warnings are in FACT based on fact. As a resident of an evacuation area, I spent much of the past few days talking and meeting other neighbors and discussing concerns. When one, five or 10 different people of all ages and various knowledge of the TRPA’s activities start voicing the same complaints, that cannot mean they are all fabricating these incidences.

One elderly woman was warned of a fine if she continued to clear her yard of pine needles. Another couldn’t level out a driveway as a safety measure for cars sliding sideways in the winter snow without paying the TRPA thousands to permit the $1,000 job. Another couldn’t fix and replace parts of a back-yard deck without paying a “permit” fee. I understand erosion issues, but what do the majority of the fines they threaten have anything to do with lake clarity.

Oh, and you can’t build any more boat docks because they want to limit boats on the lake. I support that concern completely, only if they honored it. Mr. Millionaire with the right amount has all the power in the world to squeeze one more dock in if he writes the check. When a man pulls away to speak about a government agency in fear, which a friend of mine did as well when we were interviewed as a group for the news channels, a red flag much be raised in concern for the power of this group. They were formed with good intentions, but for a group to have their amount of power, there is no democracy and no system of checks and balances.

TRPA crews came in and took a year to “study” and restructure a natural drainage system across from my home, which ultimately failed and remains a lot full of gunk with mosquito infestation. Also left is a street drain that, if not cleared out by myself and neighbors, clogs and floods the street, which is a problem never seen prior since nature took care of itself. We were shushed when offering our opinion about the area. After all, what could we know; we only stare at the area every single day.

It’s a shame it took something so destructive to raise the voices of annoyed and disgusted citizens, but unfortuantely that is how it always happens in history. The TRPA needs to be an elected agency, plain and simple. Their only defense is that the finger needs to be pointed somewhere. Funny, in instances like this it’s usually at the person who lit the match or the lightning bolt that struck. Wake up!

While I agree that it is necessary to assess the role and policies of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in the Lake Tahoe Basin, I do not agree with the shift of focus from the cause of this fire; let us remember that TRPA policies did not set the forest on fire, a human did. The true cause of this fire is carelessness and the only blame for that is ignorance.

Our quickly dissipating community has long been subject to uneducated and inconsiderate visitors and residents, who neither understand nor care about the effects of their actions onto the surrounding ecosystem. The question of blame is more accurately destined for the severe lack of environmental education to both or visitors and residents.

Perhaps if the City’s drive to invite visitors to “come and party at the Lake” was matched with an effort to teach respect and understanding of our treasured environment, then we may not have this problem of excessive carelessness and arrogance in a place that is gracious and patient enough to host our destructive shenanigans.

Ghandi once said, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” If we want our sacred home to be protected in any sustainable manner, then it is vital that we put our environment at the top of the list. We must change our priorities to invite respect and peace into this place, not ignorance and carelessness; after all, these mountains and this lake are not a party ” they’re our home.

For all of our beloved friends who have lost their life belongings, let us not also deprive them of a peaceful environment that has cradled and nurtured them these many years. To those of you who have shared my life, whose souls have been soothed by our mountains’ waters and strengthened by their rock, let us work together now to break down the ignorance that destroys our most cherished and common home.

In friendship to those of you who shaped my life and now have yours forever changed.

To all the firefighters and law enforcement officers working on the Angora fire: I wish I could reach out and say thank you to each and every one of you for saving us. I am so thankful and I am so proud of what all of you have done to protect our community.

These past few days have been the scariest time many of us have ever lived through, and I know that the majority of Lake Tahoe residents will be eternally grateful for your bravery. This fire has been devastating to so many, yet it could have been so much worse if not for you. Thank you!

My prayers and love is with and for the Lake Tahoe community. I raised my daughter, Jennifer Biller, and lived in South Lake for 17 years; my daughter and I having just moved away two months ago! My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I hope and pray for the bringing-together of the community, and for those that have lost so much, for rebuilding.

Please, let’s not point fingers, and work together … this is a beautiful community, filled with caring, beautiful citizens. Thank you.

When narrow-minded environmentalists become overly enchanted by their gleeful rule-mongering and self-righteous propriety, decent people will suffer. There is no greater evidence of this than the tragedy and loss of the Angora fire.

As a forestry engineer in the Northwest, I know the difference between politics and public safety. It is apparent that your ennvironmental governing bodies have become corrupt by the insidiousness of environmental preservation hysteria.

Nice job, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. You made your bed; now lie in it.

My family and I have been vacationing in Lake Tahoe for 25 years from the Northwest and Canada. We will not be coming this year.

It seems to me the people of California and Nevada better take a hard look at the individuals setting environmental policy in their community. The results of this fire reveal nothing but a collapse of basic common sense in lieu of illogical rule-smithing and self congratulations on the part of the TRPA and its shadowy constituency.

I am so sorry for the residents of South Lake Tahoe. You deserve better, and your priceless natural resources most certainly deserve better.

Perhaps next year we will make the trip again. It would be nice if the TRPA and its cohorts were not present with our next visit. And, maybe if enough money is denied the region, the people will rise up and finally expel the nonsense.

We’ll see.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, my then 8-year-old daugher made a banner for the victims and some moron supposedly complained, and the city made an 8-year-old take down the banner she made. Is some moron now going to complain about the “Thank You Fireman” banners?

Will the city try to enforce the no-banner law and have us take the “Thank You” banners down? If you feel the need to complain about the banners, please move and take your unhappiness out of Tahoe and go somewhere else.

I would like to thank the Tribune for your extremely detailed online coverage of the Angora fire. It has been the best source of coverage on the fire for former Tahoe residents who have no access to local news.

Over the last few days, I have been watching in shock as the Angora fire has destroyed so much of the town in which I have spent the majority of my life. To those who have lost their homes, I offer my deepest condolences.

If any good can come from this tragedy, it is the compassion, charity and cooperation among Tahoe residents that has been demonstrated time and again over the last three days. The donations and support that have poured into the Tahoe Basin after the fire are a testament to the strength of the Lake Tahoe community. I am proud to come from a community that, in the face of disaster, comes together and supports its residents in any way possible.

To the firefighters who risked their lives to save our homes, to the people who have volunteered to aid fire victims, to the countless number of individuals and businesses that have volunteered their services to people in need of aid: You are what makes Tahoe an amazing community. Thank you.

As a member of a local Fire Safe Council chapter board, I’d like to offer a few facts that should be helpful in a constructive approach to helping our basin become safer from catastrophic fire. Here they are:

1. Eighty percent of the land in the basin is owned by the United States Forest Service, and 5 percent by the states. Only 15 percent is private land. Therefore, what the U.S. Forest Service and state forestry agencies do to reduce the build-up of excess forest fuels on their lands has a great impact on reducing the intensity of catastrophic forest fires and making our homes and businesses safer.

2. The U.S. Forest Service has announced a 10-year plan to reduce excess forest fuels on 37,000 acres in the Wildland Urban Interface next to homes in the basin. According to the Forest Service, the barriers to speeding up the removal of this dangerous overgrowth are: (1) They only have one contractor to do the work, (2) the current Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and Lahontan regulations that are over 20 years old which prohibit mechanical tree removal on slopes greater than 30 percent and do not account for newer, soil-friendly forest fuels removal technologies, (3) anticipated negative reaction by residents to the interruption of their peace and quiet and enjoyment of recreational activities, and (4) the cumbersome paperwork associated with the environmental impact studies required to remove the buildup of forest fuels. All of us who want to see faster progress in removing forest fuels from the national and state forests have an interest in seeing the Forest Service, the Lahontan Water Authority and the TRPA work together to solve these barriers and to expedite the 10-year plan by as many years as possible.

3. TRPA Executive Director John Singlaub announced at the press conference with the governors that he is going to actively look into the slope regulations governing mechanical harvesting ” and the Lahontan Water Authority, which is known to be even stricter than the TRPA, should do the same. Allowing the Forest Service to do mechanical treatments will increase the speed of the fuels treatment as well as reduce the amount of pile burning that has to be done afterward since the slash can be chipped or removed from site. TRPA and Lahontan also need to look at some of the regulations concerning riparian areas and road access into the wilderness to help the Forest Service treat these areas and get their equipment into the forest. Such access points also facilitate firefighters when they want to access the forest to fight fires.

4. Much of the money for forest fuels reduction is coming from the sale of federal Bureau of Land Management public lands in southern Nevada. Approximately $82 million a year is coming from such land sales, of which $35 million is making it to the Tahoe Basin. However, competing interests for water-quality projects and infrastructure (like the visitor’s center at Sand Harbor) are reducing the amount of funds being spent for reducing forest fuels to $10 million a year, of which $7.7 million is actually being spent to thin the forest. The other $2.3 million is being used for burning the slash and doing environmental impact studies. Given the cost of fighting fires, rebuilding costs, reforestation costs and the cost to the economy, it is certainly reasonable to ask if more shouldn’t be being directed toward reducing forest fuels. After all, catastrophic fire hurts water quality and animal habitat ” priorities that compete for funding. California and Nevada should allocate more funding, as should the federal government, for fuels reduction.

5. Defensible space efforts in protecting homes during the Angora fire were of mixed result. It is important that we do these, and current funding to do them needs to be increased. Currently, Nevada directs grant funds to private property owners to clear defensible space within 100 feet of their homes. However, the California Public Resource Code, while mandating that homeowners do defensible space, does not allow the use of public funds for this purpose. This means that homeowners who cannot afford to create defensible space can get no financial assistance from the State of California. This needs to be changed.

6. Even if homeowners do defensible space on their properties, the Angora fire shows that if a massive wildfire is generated in the national forest, winds can easily drive this superheated fire into homes where it makes it impossible for firefighters to defend structures, and where such a hot high-momentum fire easily overwhelms the defensible space of many homes. So, it is key for the Forest Service to reduce fuels in areas adjacent to private property, cut fuel breaks and generally create forest conditions that slow the fire and reduce its intensity.

7. The TRPA recently stated that 76 percent of fires in the Lake Tahoe Basin are likely to be fast-moving crowning fires. The Forest Service fire models show that the area around South Lake Tahoe running up the east shore of the lake to Incline Village is very prone to crowning fires with flame length in excess of 8 feet ” which is the kind of fire we saw with the Angora fire. This is very dangerous for firefighters and residents. That is why fuels reduction to thin the canopy and reduce the density of the tree stands is so important. If we don’t do so, more Angora-type fires are inevitable.

The City of South Lake Tahoe, through the efforts of firefighters and a few breaks from nature, was able to dodge even a bigger catastrophe that would have occurred if the fire had continued its march to the east and north. It is important that government at all levels work together with the regulators and private property owners to increase the pace of forest fuels reduction on all lands in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Either we restore the forest to a healthier, less fire-prone state or nature will.

I grew up in beautiful South Lake Tahoe and am terribly saddened by the fires that are consuming what was once my childhood home. I lived there until I was 22 and, although I have been in the midwest for 12 years, I still consider Tahoe my home. Angora was my teenage stomping grounds along with the rest of the beautiful areas out there.

As I keep updated on the events going on, my heart goes out to all of you. I can’t imagine what you are going through and I know a lot of people are praying for you. My daughter and I are trying to rally some support from the midwest; just know there are people in the world who care very much.

In times like this there are angels who rise above the pain, reach down into their soul and are there for others who are hurting, even in the midst of the hurt they spread the goodness along. The world needs more love and kindness especially at times like this. Just in case you are one of these people and you might not hear it, if everyone is too sad or things are happening too fast, You are deeply appreciated. Keep spreading the good, you are strong, Tahoe will survive and rebuild!

Why are the fireworks still happening? This is outrageous! The fireworks draw hundreds if not thousands of people to this town, and that is absolutely the last thing we need right now! I think this is one of the most ridiculous things our government has deciced on.

Even if the fire is contained, now is not the time for tourists to be taking up every hotel room in the basin while people with no homes are stranded with nothing. Is there any way that the fireworks can be stopped?

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