Class Notes

The California Wildfires

November 3, 2017

Excerpted from the Dartmouth email to the class of 1959, Tom L’Esperance reports of his classmate: “The October California Wildfires were devastating. Whit Evans relates that “We were very fortunate. Fires were north and east, while we are on the western side of Sonoma Valley. The devastation in our county has been significant.” The many resources that were organized to fight the fires included ” 1,000 fire fighters, 134 bulldozers, 138 water tankers, 30 air tankers, and 73 helicopters.” Joe Lavigna, a fellow Dartmouth alum, wrote “We in CA all wondered about and feared the potential for fires from the growth of abundant fuel, never imagining the rapidity and widespread development of destruction that occurred before the sun rose Monday morning. Before we knew it and anyone could count, whole neighborhoods were incinerated. Houses along windy hilly roads, helping to create a ferocious fire pathway .. all torched, not just singed or scorched and scarred, but reduced to piles of fine gray ash and consuming all of the inflammables nearby, mostly vehicles. .. The city of Santa Rosa lost 22 lives – mostly seniors – about 3,000 houses and 400,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, including two wine country destination hotels, a high school, a fire station, multiple retail stores, etc..”

Photo Caption: The devastating California Wildfires in October, 2017