“Awesome courage and bravery — just way, way above the call of duty, way above what any normal person would expect,” said Oakmont homeowner Steve Spanier, who is also the president of the neighborhood association. “I’m really at a loss for words to express our gratitude to the first responders for taking the stand that they did.”
Steve Spanier spoke for all of us in Oakmont whose homes once again were saved from destruction and ruin.
To those who were less fortunate we extend our feelings of regret and solidarity. Losing a home filled with loved possessions and memories accumulated over a lifetime cannot be easily summed up in words.
With the news of the tentacles of the Glass fire reaching closer and closer, we quite early, last Sunday night came to the conclusion that Oakmont was in danger.
Assembled for the usual weekend, my family watched with growing concern the relentless forward march of the flames and by 10.30 were ready to depart.
Heading out Pythian, we had decided to drive to Sonoma, since Santa Rosa was already coping with fires advancing on Highway 12.
Traffic was light and we reached Alameda, home of my daughter without delay.
Sleep was out of the question, as we spent the following hours the various news reports about the developing situation in the North Bay.
With sadness we heard about Skyhawk subdivision and Los Alamos, home to friends of ours, whose home was spared miraculously while those of immediate neighbors burned.
Together with some 5,000 Oakmont evacuees, housed with friends and in hotels, we read about the five homes In Oakmont that fell victim to the gigantic Glass fire, covering some 36,000 acres.
Being away in 2017, our family experienced the conflicting emotions of the refugee for the first time. Worried about the fate of our home and our village with the simultaneous sense of relief of having been spared the worst, the thoughts turned to the future.
What next? Nature will not adapt to our needs. It is up to us to accommodate California’s fate of recurring droughts, high heat and winds, and as a village to prepare for these emergencies.
The Oakmont Village Association Board of Directors has already set in motion a program of ‘hardening’ our homes and yards against these repeating threats to life and good.
It behooves us all to follow their directives closely and contribute substantively to this necessary endeavor. Some of our beloved trees and bushes may have to go