As many of you have heard we had two huge wildfires in Lake County this summer. Like so many other places, we’ve been hit by California’s drought in that much of the land in the area hasn’t seen a decent rain in quite a while, which means it’s perfectly conditioned for fire. Well, we got ‘em - two huge wildfires that found their way into remote, hard-to-reach sections of the county. The size and scope of these fires actually made national news with the Rocky Fire and then Jerusalem fire consuming thousands of acres.
As of today the Rocky fire is at 100% containment and the Jerusalem fire is at over 90% contained. These two blazes in remote parts of Lake County accounted for many, many acres of devastation and loss for many individuals. CalFire and the gigantic team of individuals who responded to these blazes really did yeoman's duty on this very remote fire in terrain that was extraordinarily difficult to get to.
For our guests who are wondering about things around here, we are so happy to report that the outstanding job done by the firefighters means that all the things someone might want to visit are open and ready for business. The wineries, roads, boat rental, restaurants, antique shops and more are anxious to see you. This fire has been hard on many sectors of the local economy with people staying away and all the hotel rooms in the area occupied by those working on the fires.
CalFire does an outstanding job of spreading the love to as many local businesses as possible but firefighters are focused on putting out destructive wildfires, not on shopping for antiques or renting boats or wine tasting or doing all the other things you might enjoy while you're here.
So the roads are open, the businesses are ready and we sure hope you choose to be part of helping local businesses keep food on their family's tables by coming up and visiting. We've got some great room deals for you so we sure hope to see you soon. With all the roads open, we are ready for you.
Today things are looking even better and the word is that Highway 20 will be opened today or tomorrow for the full way through, although you should check with CalTrans or CHP if that is part of your journey. We do know that Highway 20 is open from 101 to the intersection with Highway 53 so guests have been arriving through that route.
Yesterday a fire did flare up within walking distance of the Featherbed Railroad and the sheer armada of aircraft that showed up at almost a moment's notice was incredible and impressive to witness. Literally within about a half an hour the fire was literally squashed by these flying firefighting machines along with our wonderful local Northshore Fire Department team with help from an incredible number of others from all over California. If fire trucks excite you, there was every imaginable shape and size of these on this scene with firefighters jumping into action. Bottom line, the fire got squashed in no time.
As of right now the air quality isn't our usual outstanding but we're hoping that it, too, clears up. CalFire is estimating that the Rocky Fire will be 100% contained by Monday at some point which is great news. Obviously this is days away and things can change, but the firefighters are making significant progress.
Something that has really come to our attention here is the sheer volume of people it takes to pull off a fire fighting effort like this. We all recognize the courageous people on the front lines and in the air battling these blazes but we've been fortunate in that CalFire has chosen to house some of their team with us and these people provide infrastructure to the firefighters on the line. Just coordinating all the hotel rooms, food, fuel, trucks, airplanes, people and so much more is a massive task and these people swing into a new area and have all this infrastructure in place in no time flat.
So our hat is off to CalFire, the US Forest Service and our local firefighters as well as all the people from all over who are part of this effort too in every capacity. This has been truly educational and inspirational and, while we hope we only see these people again when they're on vacation, it's incredibly comforting to know that they're there to do a superb job when it's "go" time.
First and foremost, we've had the most incredible outpouring of support and concern. For the Featherbed Railroad, we are pretty far from the fires and there is no discernible threat to this place or any of the neighborhood that we're in. Of course we have friends and neighbors who have been horribly affected by all of this and we are working to do what we can to help them.
For good reason, many of the people who included us in their vacation plans within the next few weeks have canceled those reservations and we can't blame them. At the same time, we've been fortunate in that CalFire has taken over almost the whole resort so we're actually pretty full and we are full of the great men and women who are working on putting out this huge blaze as well as their support team.
At present we are planning to reopen for normal operation on Friday, August 14, although this is predicated on how things with this wildfire go, naturally. We will keep updating this blog as things progress.
The latest news on this is that the fire teams hope to have the fire 100 under control by Monday, August 10.
There is a local campaign where people are putting up red balloons to salute the people working on this fire and we've joined that. So let's hope the balloons come down soon, the fire team gets to go home and no more of our friends and neighbors lose the things that are precious to them.
As you may have heard there are some significant fires in and around Lake County such that, as of this writing, Highways 20 and 16 are closed to through traffic.
We understand that part of the appeal of a journey to see us is the cleanest air in California and also how easy it is to get to us from Sacramento, Chico and points beyond. Since both of these are not true at the moment, we are willing to allow cancellations including same-day cancellations with zero consequence. If you need to cancel we totally understand and it's no problem and we're not going to charge you.
Unfortunately we can only do this if you made your reservations directly through us. If you used a third party like AirBnB, BedAndBreakfast.com, Hotels.com, TripAdvisor.com or anyone other than us we aren't able to alter the cancellation policy simply because it's outside of our control. This is just another reason that booking directly through our website or over the phone is always your best bet.
Below is a map of the fires here in Lake County which is updated constantly. More than anything we hope that all the first responders working this situation come home safely to their families and that our neighbors who are in the affected areas have a home to return to. We know of a few friends for whom that will not be a reality so we're crossing our fingers that there aren't any others.
Thank you for sharing your vacation memories with us and this policy will be in effect until further notice.
A blog about happenings in Lake County.