View Full Version : Prayers for homeless people and pets in Lake Tahoe

06-26-2007, 09:59 AM
I'm not sure if this is national news yet, but there is a severe fire in Lake Tahoe. As of the last I heard, over 200 homes have been destroyed and over 2000 acres have been burned. There is a very good shelter up there helping out with peoples pets, and there is already a donation drive going to help out people displaced by the fire.

I ask for prayers, as there are several people I know up in tahoe.

I hope the wind stays calm and the firefighters can get this thing under control.

06-26-2007, 10:17 AM
I agree. We have a second home up in South Lake Tahoe and have been watching the news very intently. One of the other owners of our condo is up there right now and has assured us the condo is not in jeopardy at this time.
This is the WORST fire ever and it's so sad to see the footage of homes that are nothing but ashes.
Hopefully they can get it under control today while the winds are not so strong. Forecast says tomorrow is going to be another windy day.
Everyone affected by this unfortunate tragedy will be in my thoughts.

06-26-2007, 10:29 AM
Prayers going out...a long-ago musical colleague of mine has family there, and I hope they and their home escaped damage.

Thank goodness the pets are remembered! And bless the hotels that have given free rooms to the displaced families! :)

I hope the weather settles and this fire is beaten.

06-26-2007, 10:38 AM
DJF, My thoughts and big Pittsburgh prayers go out to the firefighters fighing this tragic fire, all of the people made homeless, and any people even remotely touched by this tragedy. BTW, are you anywhere near the fire?

06-26-2007, 10:39 AM
DJF - the news is up in Canada, so I am sure this has made national headlines in the US.

06-26-2007, 10:53 AM
DJF - the news is up in Canada, so I am sure this has made national headlines in the US.
Catty1, It's on all of the stations in the U.S., too.

06-26-2007, 12:52 PM
I rarely to never watch the news, so I'm not sure if it's on here. However, I will keep the Lake Tahoe area in my thoughts. It's so sad how many fires we're having already this year. :(

06-26-2007, 09:26 PM
Our area is especially bad, as we have had several years of dry weather. I live in Reno, so the fire has quite a ways to go before it reaches us. I was up there the weekend before the fire started though.

I have a feeling that this is just the start of a very very bad fire season. There is a ton of dry fuel for fires around my area, I shudder to think what will happen if some careless person lights the hills around here on fire. If a fire starts closer to me, I have a feeling I'll be called out for traffic control as it is part of my job to help in emergencies.

Thank you for your prayers, I pray that I am wrong and this is the last of the major fires.

06-27-2007, 02:45 AM
I get most of my news from the internet so I'm not completely sure if it's national. Though i suppose it is since i first heard about it days ago on Yahoo's front page.

Copy and pasted from a thread i made on a local forum. I now wish i would have included the contact info i had found for a shelter taking in misplaced pets... I didn't because it is a MI forum.

(anyone else have any news relating to pets in the Lake Tahoe area regarding the fires?)


What about animals?
Elaine Goodman, [email protected]
June 25, 2007

Dr. David Monroe of Sierra Veterinary Hospital said the facility is boarding a large number of pets that have lost their homes due to the fire. If you are missing a pet, please write down its name, description, any tag identification information, and any other pertinent information that will help us locate your pet.

If you wish to help, donations of dog, cat, or bird food, towels, blankets, cat litter, cat litter pans, or pet carriers/crates of all sizes would be appreciated. We are also looking for people willing to volunteer time to care for these animals or people willing to house animals in need. Also, financial assistance to care for these animals would be greatly appreciated.

The veterinary hospital, at 3095 Lake Tahoe Blvd., can be reached at (530) 542-1952.

Cheryl Millham of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care said her organization would be caring for any injured wildlife that is found. However, wildlife care workers were not allowed up to the fire line Sunday night to look for injured animals.

The fire area is "prime bear area," Millham said, and bears that escaped the blaze are likely disoriented.

"The animals that have gotten out are very confused," she said.

Millham asked residents to take extra care to secure their garbage and ground floor doors and windows to their homes as a precaution against bears.

All contents © Copyright 2007 tahoedailytribune.com


For reference


Bill calls for animal-evacuation plans

Susan Wood, [email protected]
June 15, 2006

If a massive wildfire, flood or earthquake hits El Dorado County, emergency officials will have more to worry about than evacuating or caring for people and property.

A bill pending in the California Legislature would require the Office of Emergency Services to include animals in their offices' operational plans - which for this county has been finalized within the last year. The Board of Supervisors approved the OES all-hazard coordinating document a few weeks ago. The internal list provides contact information for emergency personnel.

The state's proposed legislation, AB450 - sponsored by Assemblyman Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, passed the Assembly 76-1. It was approved by the Senate Government Organizations Committee Wednesday and heads to the full Senate.

The bill came about in reaction to Hurricane Katrina, in which many displaced Gulf Coast animals were stranded as residents either scrambled for their own safety or felt helpless in the storm flooding. The El Niño floods of 1997 would represent a disaster of similar magnitude.

El Dorado emergency officials have agreed to work with Noah's Wish, an El Dorado Hills-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and rescue of displaced animals in disaster settings.

Spokeswoman Amy Maher said her group works with animal control officers to assist in setting up facilities and helping to evacuate animals.

In El Dorado County, animals could range from goats to cats, and that could make evacuations a challenge.

"It's a huge responsibility. Horses may panic when they see a huge bird come up to them," Maher said of a possible interaction involving an emu.

"We have cattle, emus and horses and remote areas where pets are a part of the family," District 5 Supervisor Norma Santiago said.

The variety is something the Chief of Animal Control Henry Brzezinksi knows about. His crew was forced to evacuate a pot-belly pig from Silver Fork when the Fred Fire raged a few years ago.

"It took four of us to get him on the lift. It took some coercing" he said. The pigs are known to be smart. This one ended up in a heavy dog box.

Kelly Ross of Camp Richardson Corral is also familiar with the crisis situation. The guide thought she'd have to evacuate the stables when a fire burned the meadow next to Kiva Beach nine years ago. Staff was prepared to tie the 20 horses head-to-tail and ride them to safe haven west of Highway 89. Now the corral has 54.

"It was scary. The plane with retardant flew so low you could see what he was wearing," she said. "It's reassuring they have a complete evacuation plan."

Despite critics contention that taxpayers should not have to shoulder the burden of evacuating animals, Yee contends: "It is important that we consider animals in our disaster planning as they play a critical role in our lives and our economy," he said in a statement.

Citizens take control

With the finishing touches on its evacuation plan, the county's emergency services personnel now recommends residents to find a few different evacuation routes to guard themselves from potential disasters such as fires and floods. That point alone leaves much of the responsibility of human and animal safety to individuals. From there, county OES would open all schools as potential shelter sites. Large breed animals could be transported to the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.

"Nothing in these documents say we will specifically open this (shelter) or that one," said Todd Crawford, sheriff's deputy with OES.

All contents © Copyright 2007 tahoedailytribune.com



Many helping hands
Townsfolk reach out to those whose lives lie in ashes.
By Blair Anthony Robertson - Bee Staff Writer

Last Updated 6:52 am PDT Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Story appeared in MAIN NEWS section, Page A16

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- Marge Harts, a white-haired Red Cross volunteer, stood at the front door of the recreation center Monday morning with a yellow legal pad, trying to get a handle on a list of names that grew by the minute.

That list told its own kind of story, even as the massive wildfire that erupted Sunday continued to smolder and all the sad tales of ravaged homes and broken dreams spread among friends and neighbors.

In this tight-knit town with the spectacular views known the world over, people who didn't lose their homes knew others who did, and all they wanted to do was lend a hand.

So they jotted down their names and numbers and said they'd be ready at a moment's notice. They arrived with armfuls of blankets and boxes of shoes and grocery bags stuffed with clothes. They offered room in their homes. They took in lost pets. Restaurants handed out meals and poured free coffee.

On and on it went. South Lake Tahoe was two different towns Monday -- one trying to continue business as normal and the other that dropped everything to help those in need.

"This is the time," said Harts, wearing an oversized Red Cross vest, "when everybody drops their pettiness and we find out what's really important."

"It kind of renews my spirit in people," said Jerry DeLemos, 54, who lost his house in the fire.

Though the Red Cross did not solicit donations, the agency was already struggling to organize the outpouring of goods people dropped off.

Jamie Morris, a 17-year-old volunteer who graduated from high school a week ago, spent part of her morning sorting clothes and other necessities into piles on folding tables.

"You can't do anything about what happened, but you can do something to help people," said Morris. "It's amazing to see our whole town come together."

Susan Cook was watching her daughter's soccer game 20 miles from home Sunday when cell phones started ringing in an ominous chorus. Just then, everyone saw the first plume of smoke forming in the distance.

"Everybody just took off," said Cook, 41. "We've lived here our whole lives."

When Cook learned her family's home was not in the fire's path, she immediately thought of all the friends who weren't so lucky.

"We have numerous friends who lost homes," she said, her eyes welling up.

She and her two daughters, along with a family friend, arrived at the recreation center with boxes of clothes.

"It's a helpless feeling. You start going by instinct and you take care of people any way you can," Cook said.

Several hotels in town offered free rooms to those who lost homes or were forced to evacuate. James Moore, 19, volunteered to take down names and coordinate with people who needed a place to stay. He said 15 hotels and several private residences have been opened to people in need.

"It just shows our community is one big family, and that at a time like this everybody is equal," he said.

At the Value Inn, 18 of the 63 rooms were occupied Monday by displaced residents. The inn waived the regular rates of $48 to $78 a night.

A visit to the inn Monday found Lisa Brasfield taking shelter. She had been awakened at 4 a.m. Monday and had been told her apartment was under mandatory evacuation.

"It's funny, you learn what's important to you. I just grabbed my birth certificate, a couple of photos and some clothes," she said.

"I'm surprised and amazed," she said. "Everybody is just pulling together so awesomely."

Jerry Godbey, an unemployed construction worker, showed up at the Value Inn to volunteer to clean rooms.

"People are losing their homes. They're not going to want to come back to dirty rooms," he said. "It breaks my heart to see people who have worked their whole lives and have lost everything."

Sierra Veterinary Hospital was offering free boarding to pets and already had rooms full of everything from ferrets and parrots to cats, dogs and fish. Out back, 13 volunteers with the animal rescue group Noah's Wish, which specializes in disaster situations, were setting up temporary kennels to handle the overflow.

"I didn't even clock in," receptionist Sarah DeLacy said. "I just want to help the community."

"People are going out searching for animals. It's amazing how people do care," she said. "We've had a lot of clients call and say they've lost their homes and lost their animals."

As the sad stories continued Monday, the town carried on. People could be seen hugging on sidewalks and breaking down in tears in grocery stores. Workers at the local Raley's made dozens of sandwiches to give away. Churches turned themselves into intake centers.

A young couple, presumably vacationers, snapped photos of their children on a miniature train and, just outside town, foursomes of golfers teed up in the thick smoke that hovered as the winds slowed.

And at the bustling Starbucks, about a mile from where Marge Harts continued to collect the names of volunteers and Jamie Morris sorted out piles of clothes, a firefighter reached into his pocket to pay for his coffee, only to be told it was on the house.

About the writer:

* The Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson can be reached at (916) 321-1099 or [email protected] Bee staff writer Eric Stern contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Sacramento Bee



Disaster Response Update June 26, 2007:

On Sunday, June 24, 2007, Noah's Wish received a request to assist El Dorado County, CA with families displaced by the Angora Fire near Lake Tahoe. We currently have a 12 person team on site, and we are working in cooperation with Animal Control and the veterinary office designated as the pet evacuation site. At this time, we have sufficient supplies and equipment to meet the immediate needs of the evacuees. Noah's Wish intends to continue its efforts to save animals in disasters. Thank you for your continued support.


http://www.examiner.com/a-800722~Tahoe_wildfire_surges__evacuations_under_wa y_again.html

Tahoe wildfire surges; evacuations under way again
Jun 26, 2007 9:17 PM (28 mins ago)

"Hartzell's sister-in-law, Ruth Orozco, a nurse, also lost her home but was able to escape with her two dogs and one cat."


I feel so bad for everyone. I'm surprised though reading through all these articles how few casualties there have been. It's amazing. It's been what... a week now that these fires have been raging on?

AH HA!!! This isn't the same article, but it is the same station and they have lots of info. LOTS of info. http://www.kcra.com/news/13569851/detail.html?rss=sac&psp=news

oooh, the list was updated.

Evacuation Centers For Pets:

Dog Gone Crazy
580 National Ave., Tahoe Vista

Sierra Veterinary Hospital
3095 Highway 50, South Lake Tahoe

06-27-2007, 10:01 AM
Thanks crow for posting that info! Up in Tahoe, pets are a priority, fortuneatly. With the efforts of a lot of dedicated people, many pets will be saved and reunited with their people.

The fire still is out of control, and last I heard it jumped a fire break and is getting very close to the beaches. So far though, there hasn't been any major injuries to firefighters. One of my co-workers is a voulunteer fighfighter and is up fighting the fire. I am praying for his safety, as well as everyone fighting the fire.

06-27-2007, 10:19 AM
Yes, it's been in the news quite a bit achually. I'm hoping and praying that situations will get better for these people. Fires a while ago were by my town and I know people who had to be evacuated and the smoke was hurrendus.

06-27-2007, 10:59 AM
Yes, thank you crow_noir for posting all of those articles. Reading through them brought tears to my eyes, especially since we consider Tahoe home.
They have evacuated Camp Richardson and surrounding areas. Some people we know have a beautiful huge home in that area. We have not heard if it made it.
I feel so helpless just sitting here. I feel like I should be doing something. I think I'm going to contact one of the animal places and see what I can do from here. I'm sure Bruce won't want to drive up there this weekend, since other owners are at our condo right now. Grrr, this is frustrating!!!

06-28-2007, 04:40 AM
You're welcome DJFyrewolf36 and Taz_Zoee. (So glad that posting was useful.)

Fyrewolf, i had no idea that some areas were so pet friendly. Thank you.

Hopefully you'll be able to help in some way Taz. *hugs* at least you want to do something. Calling is the first step.

07-01-2007, 04:47 AM
More prayers needed...


3 men die in fast-moving Utah wildfire

June 30th, 2007

NEOLA, Utah - A fast-moving wildfire suddenly changed direction and burned through a hay field, killing a boy's father and grandfather but allowing the youngster to escape, authorities said.

A 63-year-old man and his 43-year-old son, who were working in the field, died there Friday afternoon, officials said.

In addition, a 75-year-old man was flown to Salt Lake City and died overnight, Uintah County Sheriff Jeff Merrell said Saturday. The 11-year-old boy was treated at and released from a hospital in Roosevelt, according to a newspaper report.

"A fire wall came over that hill," Merrell told the Deseret Morning News. "The officers who were here said it just started sucking up all the air."

Trevor Quick, a friend of the family, said the men apparently told the boy to run.

Merrell identified two of the victims as George Houston, 63, and his son, Tracy Houston. Roger Roberson, 75, died later at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, spokesman Chris Nelson said.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Roberson was related to the family.

The fire started north of Neola, about 100 miles east of Salt Lake City, on Friday morning. By Saturday afternoon, about 23 square miles, including part of Ashley National Forest in the northeastern corner of the state, had been consumed.

Gov. Jon Huntsman requested aid from the Federal Emergency Management Association after being flown over the area.

In California, evacuated residents were returning to their burned-out streets Saturday after a separate wildfire near Lake Tahoe destroyed more than 200 homes and charred 3,100 acres. Investigators said the blaze was started by an illegal campfire and was 80 percent contained.

More firefighters departed the Lake Tahoe region. About 1,300 remained Saturday, compared to more than 2,000 the day before, said Steve Johnson, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Both wildfires were fueled by dry conditions in the West. In Utah, wind gusts Saturday were expected to reach up to 25 mph, fanning the flames even more. The cause of the wildfire was unknown on Saturday.

A U.S. Forest Service investigation found that the fire south of Lake Tahoe was built in a campfire-restricted area, but said there was no evidence it was deliberately set to spark the devastating wildfire that has displaced about 3,500 people.

Donna Deaton, an investigator for the U.S. Forest Service, said Friday the fire was built about a quarter-mile south of Seneca Pond, a popular recreation area south of Lake Tahoe. There were no suspects, she said.

Because of tinder-dry conditions due to a lack of snow over the winter, the U.S. Forest Service had banned all campfires, charcoal grills, smoking and fireworks throughout the Tahoe basin.

Meanwhile, north of Los Angeles, fire crews had a 19-square-mile blaze 80 percent contained, state fire department spokesman Rick Espino said Saturday.

"We still have some areas of concern, but it's looking pretty good," Espino said.

Four crew members had been injured battling the blaze that destroyed 12 homes and six buildings since it broke out Sunday night in steep canyons south of the San Joaquin Valley, officials said.

And in Montana, a nearly 6-square-mile blaze near Yellowstone National Park was 60 percent contained Saturday, officials said. Evacuation orders remained in effect for 45 to 50 summer homes.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


This is an older article from a few days ago... but it was touching.


RESIDENTS PULL TOGETHER: Many families homeless -- but no one is all alone

Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

As the wind blew away from the modest casinos on the south shore of Lake Tahoe and the smoke cleared, three types of people emerged: those who lost homes, those who were spared and those who still didn't know and were trying feverishly to find out.

Randy Burton walked into a tiny meeting room at Lake Tahoe Community College at 5 p.m. Monday and scanned nine letter-size sheets of white paper that meant everything.

Titled "structure assessment," each list featured addresses of homes, which were either "OK" or had "minor," "moderate" or "major" damage -- the latter indicating, in most cases, that only a home's brick chimney was still standing.

Burton's home wasn't listed at all.

"What if my street's not on the list?" the construction worker shouted at no one in particular.

"What street are you on?" Fred Wise, a local contractor, shouted back.

"Koru," Burton said.

"Koru? I live on Koru," Wise responded. "You're all right. You're good."

And so it went, from morning to night Monday, for the residents of a fire-ravaged piece of paradise.

More than 1,000 people had been evacuated and 178 homes had completely burned by late Monday. Residents had not been allowed to return, so they traded information about the damage and queried friends in law enforcement. And they consulted the damage lists laid on a table in the community college.

"Not knowing is the worst part," Burton said.

Residents whose homes were not damaged will be allowed to return starting this morning at 8 a.m. A list of damaged properties has been posted at www.edso.org.

The Yingling family was among the unlucky. Steve, Jean and their two boys visited the college Monday morning and looked up Cone Road.

"All," the assessment read. "Major."

"I'm kind of dazed," said Steve Yingling, the sports editor at the Tahoe Daily Tribune. "It sinks in every 30 minutes or so, when we think of things we lost. When we get up there and see the house, that's when it will really sink in."

Yingling and other residents said they understood the risk of living here among the towering pine trees, but they said it was worth it.

The area -- known to outsiders for its mountain and lakeside cabins, its casinos and the Heavenly ski resort -- also is teeming with signs pointing out the fire danger. They advise residents to create "defensible space" around homes by clearing brush. Some ask, "Would your house be saved?"

Although many people own second homes in the area, South Lake Tahoe also is a tight-knit community. All over town on Monday, people stopped each other to offer help, and at an emergency shelter a stream of cars pulled up to drop off food, blankets, clothing and medicine.

"That's why we live here. In a small town you're going to get this kind of outpouring of love," Yingling said. "They realize it could just as easily have been them."

At 2:30 p.m. Sunday, everything was normal in Yingling's life. He was driving to his job from his home of 16 years when he heard sirens. In his rear-view mirror, he saw smoke.

He called home to his wife and boys, who packed up and left in minutes. Jordan, 15, and Connor, 14, grabbed some of their sports memorabilia. Jean Yingling packed clothes, her coin collection and the top two drawers in the filing cabinet.

They got their dog but couldn't find their cat, a wild pet of advanced age named Midnight that they hope is using its cunning to survive.

Sunday night, they slept at the Motel 6 in South Lake Tahoe -- or at least tried to sleep.

"We slept for maybe an hour," Steve Yingling said. "My wife and I kept looking at each other and trying to hold out hope."

Soon after the deflating trip to the community college, Steve Yingling said he was insured and plans to rebuild.

But he was having trouble stomaching the loss of photos and videos of his boys when they were younger. Some footage showed them spending time with their grandfather, Wendell Yingling, who died 10 years ago.

"You can't replace stuff like that," Steve Yingling said, his voice breaking.

Also pondering life without a home was Brian Gogue, who was working at a car dealership Sunday when ash rained down on the Toyotas, Dodges and Jeeps.

The salesman figured it was no big deal, but he phoned his wife, Katrina, who was swimming with their two children at a friend's nearby pool. She drove home -- right into the path of the exploding wildfire.

"I got there, and it was windy, almost black from the smoke. Ash was falling everywhere, and the neighbor's yard was on fire," said Katrina Gogue, an emergency room nurse.

Ten minutes later, she said, police officers drove through, shouting evacuation orders over loudspeakers. She packed the family's two dogs, her wedding rings and some key documents.

As the couple recounted their story Monday, they didn't know whether they had lost the home they bought in November. But they were almost certain they had.

"A firefighter called me and said, 'I'm sorry about your house,' " Katrina Gogue said. "I'm guessing it's gone."

The Gogues are lucky, they said. Their children, 7-year-old Sierra and Dillon, 9, are safe. They have fire insurance. And they are staying at a friend's vacation home -- the one with the pool -- on the shore of Lake Tahoe. They'll soon move into another house owned by their family.

"It'll work out. It always does," Katrina Gogue said.

E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa*AT*sfchronicle*DOT*com.

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

© 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.

07-02-2007, 01:08 AM
Taz, were you able to do anything?

I didn't see this before, so I'm adding it now.

Angora Fire, South Lake Tahoe - Disaster Response Update June 28, 2007:

Noah’s Wish Disaster Response Team worked through the night on Sunday to have a shelter up and operational by early Monday morning in response to a request by El Dorado County Animal Control - all this in less than 12 hours from the initial callout.

The team has grown to between 18-20 trained volunteers and coordinators onsite each day, along with 17 additional people that have volunteered their services. Eighty-eight animals have been processed thus far, with 36 still being cared for at this time. We anticipate that the shelter will remain busy providing services through Sunday, July 1st.

We would like to thank the volunteers for their dedication to the mission and those that offered to come from as far away as Canada if needed. Special thanks go to:

* Sierra Veterinary Hospital
* Four Paws Pet Grooming
* El Dorado County Animal Control