Yup, Shasta County is on fire, and not in a good way.
It started on the weekend, an electric storm crashed through the state, bringing fire, but no water. Fire in this area is an annual event, but this year, it came early, before we were braced for the onslaught.
Ironically, the firestorm brings an unusual beauty to the area; sunrise and sunset are not to be missed. In the late afternoon, the sun's rays turn to dazzling displays of color and light. The oranges and reds make our homes and yards glow with an otherworldly beauty.
Like any disaster, this one brings heros, in our area, we practically worship the firefighters. As we drive along the freeway, they come by in truckloads, and we wave at them, almost as though they are celebrities.
We see hotshots from Oregon and Washington, from reservations in Arizona, as well as from Southern California. These people are all ages, all races, men and women alike. There are even prison crews, and we cheer for them as well. Our newspaper has an area where we can post personal messages of gratitude to the firefighters. Their jobs are brutal and hard, filthy, painful and sometimes fatal.
At night, when we don't know what's happening out there, it's hard to sleep, we don't know if the knock will come on the door warning us to evacuate. There is a measure of comfort to be had knowing that the firefighters are out there doing thier job, doing what they can to keep us safe.
They are our heros.