As flames rage with Southern California fires, there is nothing treated as sacred that stands in its way. Homes and churches are threatened.
According to a report in The New York Times, the California Fires Enter the Heart of Los Angeles: “By Wednesday evening, the fire in Bel-Air consumed at least 475 acres and a handful of structures, small figures compared with some of the other blazes. But in such a densely populated area, the prospect of warm, dry Santa Ana winds whipping the flames into other neighborhoods had many residents of Los Angeles’ west side preparing for possible evacuation. Officials ordered 700 homes in Bel-Air evacuated.”
As residents evacuate, they pray. Abe Hagigat, 61, told The New York Times as he packed up his car outside his home in Bel-Air and watered his roof: “We’ve all been through this before. We stay calm, do what they tell us, and pray.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that “Out of Control” Southern California Fire Explodes as Growing Blazes Force 27,000 to Flee. And containment doesn’t look like it’s coming any time soon.
The Chicago Tribune reports: “The prospects for containment are not good,” Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said at a news briefing as the fire was beginning its aggressive expansion. “Really, Mother Nature’s going to decide when we have the ability to put it out.”
Homes and churches are at risk. In The Presbyterian Outlook’s Presbyterian churches in Ventura face new wildfire threats: “It’s obviously in the very early stages right now and there is little containment of the fire,” said Katie Wiebe, executive director of the Institute for Congregational Trauma and Growth, as well as a member of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance’s National Response Team. “We have at least two churches, possibly three, that are directly impacted, where they’ve had members evacuated.”
The CovenantCompanion.com reported on December 6, 2017, that no Evangelical Covenant Churches were currently impacted by the fire.
Referencing the “weird wind pattern” of the Santa Ana winds with this fire, The L.A. Times reported what we would see as answers to prayer: “At daybreak Thursday, Ojai officials said it was ‘a miracle’ that fierce Santa Ana winds had subsided on Thursday, as firefighters battled wildfires that have encircled the mountain community and continued to burn largely untamed on surrounding ridgelines.”
Church leaders in the area ask for prayer for the people who’ve been evacuated and for the brave firefighters to be safe as they contain the fire.