Editor’s note: Greenville resident and businessman Ken Donnell has been writing updates to share with his friends and family following the mandatory evacuation of Greenville due to the Dixie Fire. Ken chose to remain with his home. Last night he shared a very personal update as he feared the fire would arrive in Greenville last night; it didn’t. Here is most recent post as of 7:20 a.m.
By Ken KD Donnell
Winds – calm. Air temperature – cool. Visibility – 1/4 mile. No ash falling at present. Power is on. Water available at the tap.
We survived the night. After receiving several reports that the fire was within an hour or less from Crescent Mills, it appeared the fire settled down a bit with the cool of evening, The last report I received from Crescent Mills at midnight was that the fire was growing closer, but no flames were visible. I will check my sources again this morning.
There is a strange calm and quietness over Greenville. No traffic. Pete has opened Nelz Towne Pump. A few birds are singing. After several days of great preparation to defend from a fire approaching from the southwest, yesterday afternoon, we were suddenly faced with a raging fire approaching from the southeast.
Yesterday helped me to better understand the often used phrase about “the fog of war”. Yesterday evening, information was coming in rapidly from multiple sources, and accuracy was difficult to determine. I will try to be more careful today about confirming information before sending out on further updates.
Yesterday began with a hopeful weather forecast calling for calm winds. The winds in Greenville yesterday were very calm, and with some extended periods of complete stillness. But those of us who live here know the ability of the terrain to draw winds up the Feather River Canyon, and this must have occurred beginning approximately 2-3 pm. By 5 pm there were reports of fire on the ridge above the Dawn Institute, and by 7 pm, multiple reports arrived that Indian Falls was engulfed by the Fire. At 8 pm, I received multiple reports that the fire was within an hour of Crescent Mills.
I hope to continue sending my brief reports via text to Greenville evacuees, but time may be too short. So, I encourage everyone to keep checking plumasnews.com as this affords me the ability to communicate widely through only a single message.
I feel a sense of calm determination at this moment. The moment of truth for Greenville is close at hand. Those of us who remain are prepared, but recognize the limits of our abilities. I pray that at the end of this day I can accurately report that most, and perhaps all of Greenville remains intact. Our future is literally “blowing in the wind.” This is a moment for all of us to consult the higher powers we revere. We will all soon learn the true metal of which we are made.