The 49’er Fire Deja vu? | TheUnion.com
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The 49’er Fire Deja vu?

Following is an excerpt from a letter written to my family back East at the conclusion of the terrible fire of September 1988.

“I could look out my window and see the flames, 50 feet high. The fire perimeter was 50 miles, roughly the size of the city of San Francisco.

“It was like World War III with bombers overhead dropping 12,000 gallons of fire retardant every hour, helicopters scooping water from the ponds, fire trucks from every county in the state racing down the road while evacuees, some riding horses, proceeded up the road. The CA Division of Forestry had their command post set up at the Fairgrounds. With all the computers, phones, radios, maps, logistics people, it reminded me of NORAD. There were media people from all the networks, CNN, etc. all over the place. It truly felt like a war zone, with the enemy, the winds blowing the fire (toward my house)…



“The local radio staff did a heroic job around the clock, coordinating all the news, directing the evacuees, bringing the fire locales to the people almost to the minute, relaying messages, asking for needed help… Tremendous community spirit.”

So far in 2008 our area has been spared this terrible experience. With luck and due caution, let us hope to be spared a repeat. Be careful out there!




Jean M. Geoffroy

Grass Valley


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