The Camp Fire that burned up the beautiful town of Paradise (population 27,000) near Chico (about 80 miles southeast of Redding) now ranks as the deadliest fire that the United States of America has suffered in a century.
To give you some perspective, the second worst fire in California history killed 29 people (the Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles). By contrast, the Camp Fire has killed over three times (3x) that many, and possibly over two hundred times (200x) that many.
So far, sixty-three (63) identified people are dead, and 631 more in Butte County are missing.
Trained dogs are sniffing around for human remains.
Lord, we pray for Your help . . .
Paradise residents are being told that they will not be able to enter back into their own geographical area for at least six months. The fire is still burning; it’s only 40% contained as of tonight, Thursday night on November 15th – which marks the eighth day since the Camp Fire began last week. This fire has injured at least three firefighters and burned more than 10,000 structures — with most of those structures being homes.
The fire’s reach right now is an area twice the size of the city of San Francisco. They call it the “Camp” fire because it started near Camp Creek Road and Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon.
If, from far away, you want to place your heart against the heartbeat of the people who were trapped and attacked and whiplashed by this fire, you can listen to 911 calls that came in, one after the other, for about three minutes right here.
Oh, Lord, help us to pray . . . for 631 missing people . . . for all those who have lost loved ones, for the fire fighters, for all the people who need medicine, for displaced families, for those immobilized in total shock, for all the pastors, for broken relationships to be healed by common devastation, for resources to pour in, for decision-makers, for Governor Brown, for everyone in need, for the salvation of every soul, for Your peace in every heart, for doctors, nurses, insurance agents, for leaders to unite communities, for Your Spirit to hover over and comfort all who are crying out to the living God . . . we pray. Help us to pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen