With the news of fires breaking out once again in both Northern and Southern California, we at West Margin Press can’t help but extend our utmost support for all the brave men and women risking their safety to fight the devastation currently impacting our home state.
An Ominous Announcement
When the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG+E) issued a formal statement on Friday October 26th warning Northern California residents about concentrated residential power shut-offs there quickly ensued a heightened state of vulnerability. Having endured a similar power outage only weeks prior, it seemed as if the news was not entirely shocking but overwhelmingly familiar. The power outage was followed by near immediate fires that roared to life within just a few hours of the announcement. With glaring evidence percolating across the sky, the Air Quality Index (AQI) for Bay Area residents registered at a staggering and unhealthy 152.
A Hero Among Us
In times of crisis it seems ironic that the world softens. A mutual understanding of the hardship is like the release of a pressure valve keeping our stress and emotions distilled. It’s a strange catharsis that reminds us all we are all in this together.
With California burning now year after year, there is some good that comes from situations like these. One bit of good comes from an unlikely hero named Odin. Odin’s claim to fame came after his family were forced to evacuate from flames encroaching on their property during the Tubbs fire in 2017. As the Hendel family was hurriedly packing their belongings Odin refused to go with them. Somewhat mysteriously but with spectacular bravado, Odin stayed on the property and shepherded the Hendel family’s goats to safety. When the family returned home after the fires had cleared they came back to a desolate fate. Their home and so much of their property had been completely destroyed by the flames. What they didn’t expect to find was Odin keeping guard of the goats and what was left of their property.
Despite their near-tragedy two years ago, in the midst of the Kincade fire that is ravaging so much of Northern California, Odin and Roland Hendel were spotted not too far from the newly impacted areas. They have been reported as being more prepared this time around having learned a thing or two from the fire in 2017. To learn more about Odin’s incredible story, you can pre-order a copy of the children’s book retelling his incredible story here.
Ways You Can Help
In times of such immeasurable crisis it’s important to hold tightly to the things that remain good. Lending a hand, offering support and staying positive are a few ways we can support one another through these devastating California fires. Odin’s story has inspired so much bravery and we are proud to publish a glimmer of hope that has surfaced from such otherwise demonstrable circumstances. Here are some ways that you can directly help the communities around you:
- Kincade Fire Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund
- Air BnB is offering free housing to Kincade fire evacuees as a part of their “Open Homes Program”
- Donations to Sonoma County’s Resiliency Fund
- Donations to The American Red Cross
- Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) are accepting disaster relief donations in Marin and Napa
For information about the Kincade Fire, you can visit the KQED webpage, for Air Quality in the bay area visit AirNow.gov and for all other information regarding power outages please make sure to check the homepage of PG+E.