Sunday, July 8, 2007

Wildfires around Hot Springs, SD - Please Pray

A major wildfire near Hot Springs has killed one person and injured at least two firefighters.

Please pray for those fighting the fire and for all in that beautiful part of the state. Pray for Fr. Chip Johnson and his Anglican congregation there as well.


Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...

We are fine, five miles north of the fire front. The Alabaugh Fire has burned over 3000 acres, is in no way under containment, even though there over 150 firefighters, three attack planes, and a regular village in town as a staging area, has killed a close personal friend as the firestorm swept over his house as he and his family were trying to leave...they got out but the car was destroyed,
she drove it to his mother's house in town, where they put it out before she collapsed at about 0130 this am.

Many friends have lost everything, members of the ministerial association, etc.,
I am serving as the main crisis counselor for the Red Cross, and chaplain to the shelter facility.

The next situation meeting is 1900 tonite. I will go back after taking some food to and visiting with David Beeman's parents...they were staunch and active Episcopalians until last year, when they had enough and went to the Wesleyan Church.

With the changing winds, this fire may be a week or more to contain. In addition, there is now a fire reported out west of town, near the property we are buying for our shop and a retreat center and sustainability workshop.

Just pray! Kyrie eleison.

Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...

The incident management team told us tonight that the fire stood at 5891 acres a/o 1200 today, and was less than 20 % contained. The fires around Kyle, on the Pine Ridge, have burned over 23000 acres and are 90 % contained.

The the western half in your prayers.

Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...

The Monday 1900 briefing advised us that the fire was not near containment, it had 'blown out' to the west and northwest, into rough canyon country and had grown to over 10000 acres. It is now visible on top of a ridge ajoining Highway 18, 5 miles west of Hot Springs proper and staging is in place to suppress it at the highway. If it jumps 18, it has a clear shot all the way to Custer County 6 miles to the north, which includes the land we have purchased for a home, boarding kennel, sustainability taining center and Franciscan retreat center.

Chip Johnson+, SF, CoJ said...

The winds over night turned back to NW driving the new outbreak in the northwestern sector near Highhway 18 back onto itself, and the air tankers have hit it hard today.

The residents who had been evacuated from the fire ground, including several members of St. Luke's, Hot Springs, are released to return to their homes at 1700 today. Those whose homes were destroyed or subtantially damaged have been in this morning with their adjustors.

The fire is not out, but mainly contained, barring a significant change in weather conditions from either existing or projected.

The memorial service for David Beeman, 46, who died trying to escape his burning homeplace Sunday morning, will be conducted at the Boulder Falls Convention Center in Hot Springs, Thursday at 4:00 pm, with Pastor Morris Nelson, of the United Churches in Hot Springs, officiating.