Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We Have Been a Bit Occupied

We apologize for failing to post lately, but if you will click on the link of the title, you will see that we have been a trifle busy this week.

We were privileged and humbled to serve as Incident Chaplain for the Alabaugh Canyon Wildfire Containment effort, working through the American Red Cross at the shelter and information center; but also, on the lines with the almost 500 firefighters from across the eastern Rocky Mountain region, as they fought the worst and hottest wildfire in South Dakota history, with over 10,000 acres consumed, and cantainment at only 40% at present, and some active fire still in the canyon country only three miles southwest of Hot Springs.

There was only one fatality, David Beeman, a friend of ours and son of a brother and sister in the Lord, Billy and Marilyn Beeman, who were also from St. Luke's Hot Springs; several fire crew injuries, as the fires danced and acted plumb 'squirelly' at times; over thirty homes destroyed or severely damaged; yet, miraculously, many homes and lives spared, even though they were under an immediate evacuation order, issued at 2-4 am Sunday morning.

We boarded some of the evacuees animals in our kennel, and worked from Sunday morning through today with the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and several private crisis counseling organisations to provide grief counseling and an ear to listen.

I will be back in blogland by next week, following the final community meeting tonite, funeral tomorrow, and a bit of rest before Sunday starts it all over again.

Thank God for the effectual fervent prayers of many of you whom we have contacted through comments on some of your have meant so much to us, and we love you all.


Northern Plains Anglicans said...

We praise God for the end of this current threat and for your ministry, Chip+.

Chip Johnson+, cj said...

Fire Update a/o 1700 MDT:
Containment of the fire has risen to 80 percent and fire managers are cautiously optimistic that containment lines will hold through today's burning period. Firefighters continue to strengthen control lines, mop up and mitigate hazards within the fire perimeter.
Currently there are 14 crews, 7 helicopters, 37 fire engines, 4 dozers, 13 water tenders and a total of 503 personnel on the fire.
The estimated cost to date is $2,500,534.

From the Fire Incident Reporting web site