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Site Notes: There’s a Substantial Fire to the East (Evacuation Orders Issued for Town)

Not close to Paradise, Ca now but it has turned the morning sky orange and filled the air with a wisp of smoke. No evacuation orders here yet but that may happen at any time. Getting my bug-out bag ready just in case. More later.

And I am outta here.

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  • ghostsniper November 8, 2018, 10:21 AM

    I know Miss Olivia is riding shotgun.

  • captflee November 8, 2018, 10:31 AM

    Safe travels!

  • Casey Klahn November 8, 2018, 10:33 AM

    Stay safe. I went through this twice. Never left the house, though.

    Also, take care of yourself.

  • Patvann November 8, 2018, 2:22 PM

    Get out the prayer-books, folks…It’s turning into Very Bad…

  • Casey Klahn November 8, 2018, 3:16 PM

    Saw some reports via Drudge. Impressive fire and saying prayers, Mr Vanderlun.

    A video I took this summer: fight from the air/ drop 0.9 mile north of my place. https://youtu.be/GHTzoHcdYug

  • Gerard vanderleun November 8, 2018, 3:27 PM

    All safe here at my mom’s. Sky dark as night. Fate of house and belongings unknown. God’s will be done.

  • Kerry November 8, 2018, 3:54 PM

    You have my best wishes for a better than expected outcome.

  • Steve in Greensboro November 8, 2018, 3:59 PM

    Will keep you in my prayers.

  • leelu November 8, 2018, 4:52 PM

    Stay safe. Stuff can be replaced, you can’t.

  • Jeff Brokaw November 8, 2018, 5:02 PM

    Stay safe and I hope everything turns out okay Gerard!

  • D. Graham November 8, 2018, 6:06 PM

    So glad you got out when you did, seems to be getting worse. Here in Clayton near Mt Diablo the smoke is very dense. Stay safe, GOD BLESS.

  • Gerard vanderleun November 8, 2018, 6:08 PM

    Hospital destroyed. Supermarket ash. Other houses and buildings destroyed. No word on my home.

  • ama November 8, 2018, 6:09 PM

    Praying for you and all your loved ones, and your loved home town- from just a tiny stone’s throw northwest.

  • Terry November 8, 2018, 6:19 PM

    We are praying for you brother.

  • Snakepit Kansas November 8, 2018, 6:59 PM

    Prayers, sir. Stay safe and keep us updated.

  • jwm November 8, 2018, 7:17 PM

    Glad you’re safe. Good thing Mom’s OK, as well.
    God bless.


  • Rob De Witt November 8, 2018, 7:19 PM

    Best wishes and prayers for you and all your females.

    It’s a bad one. The wind’s blowing South; the air quality index in Sebastopol was 199 today, comparable to Beijing. Ugly.

  • Casey Klahn November 8, 2018, 7:48 PM

    Sounds like you had to bug out fast. Very concerned for your home and well being. Glad you and your mom are safe.

  • AbigailAdams & Geoff C. the Saltine November 8, 2018, 7:59 PM

    Praying, praying, and more praying, brother G. So glad to know you’re with mom and Olive is safe, too. Hold them both tight tonight.

  • Julie November 8, 2018, 8:12 PM

    So sorry for the suffering of your town tonight, Gerard. I am glad you and your mother are safe; God-willing, you will remain so.

  • Gordon Scott November 8, 2018, 8:25 PM

    Gerard has a tip jar on the right side of the home page. If nothing else, there won’t be power in Paradise for a few days, and that’s the good result. If you can spare some, please do.

  • Bad_Brad November 8, 2018, 8:25 PM

    Gerard. It’s Brad down in El Dorado Hills. If you need help I can be there in 90 minutes. What a nightmare.

  • Gerard vanderleun November 8, 2018, 8:34 PM

    Hard to work from my phone but many thanks to all for their prayers. News days up to 1000 structures and homes gone. More anon. God bless you all.

  • ArmChair Sinner November 8, 2018, 9:40 PM

    Gerard, call me if you need anything. I’ll be travelling through Sac and Woodland tomorrow, so it wouldn’t take long to lug up any supplies (rum, ice, et alia…).

  • Mumblix_Grumph November 8, 2018, 10:01 PM
  • Island Girl November 8, 2018, 10:03 PM

    So awful ……. thought of you and your sweet mama 1st thing, Stay Blessed.

  • PA Cat November 9, 2018, 1:32 AM

    Prayers up for you and your mom; I trust Miss Olive is there with you too.

  • RosalindJ November 9, 2018, 3:16 AM

    My computer has been on the fritz since before the election, and I haven’t been keeping up with things as I usually do. Driving into work, I heard the entire town is just gone; complete devastation. I’m glad you’re safe. James Woods kept up a running list on Twitter of the missing and looked – for people last night. May God hold you and keep you all.

  • Jaynie November 9, 2018, 4:12 AM

    Hoping you and yours stay safe. I’ll say a prayer for you and your house. How far away does your Mother live?

  • HH November 9, 2018, 4:28 AM

    You and your darling mother are in my prayers.

  • Mary Ann November 9, 2018, 5:12 AM

    Prayers for you and all in peril. Glad you’re with Mom.

  • Rick November 9, 2018, 5:50 AM

    I hope all is well for you and everyone affected. Please update us and let us know what we can do to help.

  • mizbish November 9, 2018, 6:00 AM

    Praying for blessings of provision and protection for you, your mother and your home. Stay safe. God be with you all.

  • Phloda Svoboda November 9, 2018, 6:06 AM

    Dude, I just google mapped Paradise a week ago to see from whence you operated. I went back a moment ago and saw singe marks on my screen. Best of luck, mon frere.

  • Webutante November 9, 2018, 6:08 AM

    Gerard, thinking of you and family and glad you’re safe and hopefully breathing decent air. It is a hellish nightmare which I’ve attended too many times in Wyoming to count.

    So much of this is nature’s way of thinning out forests and dying timber that man—via the U.S. Forest Service and Dept. Of Interior– won’t allow or manage properly. Fuel builds up and a dry, windy spell creates the perfect storm for mega fires. We can also thank radical environmentalism, whuch like radical feminism, has gone way too far.

    National forests need to be cut and managed and when we don’t steward these lands properly, this is what happens and keeps happening. These big fires have carbon footprint that no laws can touch.

    Best to you all who are in the path of our foolishness,

  • IP November 9, 2018, 6:13 AM

    Glad to hear you’re safe. Keep us posted if you need anything.

  • CC November 9, 2018, 6:40 AM

    I hear you had to evacuate.
    Prayers for the safety of you and your neighbors.

  • Phil in Englewood November 9, 2018, 7:30 AM

    I’m hoping and praying for the best outcome for you. It’s incredibly nerve-wracking to wonder if it will all be gone. We had the scare here when Irma was heading our way – we, too, evacuated with the cat. It turned inland and we were totally unscathed. Hope by the grace of God you have the same outcome. I’m hitting the tip jar so you will have a little more if you need it. If you don’t please use it to help those that do.

  • RDB November 9, 2018, 7:34 AM

    GVL – glad to hear you are safe. Hope loss of life is minimal from this fire. Let us know if there is anything we can do to help. God bless!

  • Helene Bidwell November 9, 2018, 7:39 AM

    So devastating. Glad to know that you and your mother are out of harms way. May angel wings protect you and yours.

  • edaddy November 9, 2018, 7:57 AM

    Wow! Just checked to AD and saw this. It’s nice to see all the support from your readers. What a great crowd! Best of luck to you, Gerard … we’ll still be here after the fire, and we’ll help.

  • Gerard vanderleun November 9, 2018, 8:49 AM

    Bless you all for your prayers. My mom myself and cat alive and well.

    However I’ve just been told my home has been destroyed with everything.

    So on we go.

  • Teri Pittman November 9, 2018, 8:57 AM

    Just found out you were affected by the wildfires, by a comment on Ace. So sorry for the loss of your home. Grateful that you were able to get out safely. Prayers for others affected in the area too.

  • Phil in Englewood November 9, 2018, 9:12 AM

    Oh, no! So very sorry for your loss! But you are alive and safe. You have added so much to our lives through American Digest. Let us know how we can best help.

  • jwm November 9, 2018, 9:18 AM

    No words for it. We’re grateful that you and yours are safe. God bless.


  • Cletus Socrates November 9, 2018, 9:38 AM

    Oh man – at least you and fam are safe. Sorry to hear.

  • Skorpion November 9, 2018, 9:59 AM

    Very sorry about your loss, Gerard. Thank God you, your Mom, and the kitty are safe.

  • Hangtown Bob November 9, 2018, 10:28 AM

    I have been hoping that your home would be spared, but am not surprised that it is gone. Everything is tinder dry throughout the Foothills. October/November has been the height of fire season here for quite a few years now.
    I thank God that you, your Mother, and your cat have been spared.

    Time to hit the tip jar………

  • Casey Klahn November 9, 2018, 10:36 AM

    I suck at organizing and follow through. Let’s start a fund for Gerard, and maybe the updates can go here? Anyone want to take the lead. I am already behind on another fire fund for a local guy, so sorry I cannot take the lead.

  • Jason November 9, 2018, 10:37 AM

    Oh No! So glad you, your mom and the cat are ok! Please let us know how we can help.

  • Casey Klahn November 9, 2018, 10:47 AM

    Fox News reporter in Paradise/ film:

  • pbird November 9, 2018, 11:05 AM

    I can’t even figure out what to say this is so sad.
    But thank GOD you and your mom and cat are alive.

  • Julie November 9, 2018, 11:09 AM

    May God be with you and continue to carry you and your loved ones through this.

  • MoralFracas November 9, 2018, 11:10 AM

    Thoughts and prayers!!!!

  • jwm November 9, 2018, 11:14 AM

    @ CaseyKlahn:
    You bet! Tip jar to the right>


  • MOTUS November 9, 2018, 11:18 AM

    Relieved you and Olive are safe with Mom, but devastated for your loss. Let us know if we can do anything. MOTUS and Raj

  • Monty James November 9, 2018, 11:39 AM

    My words seem sorry and inadequate to console you now, but I am so glad you, your mother, and Olivia are safe. Many are thinking of you today.

  • Mikey NTH November 9, 2018, 11:52 AM

    I heard about the fires and decided to check in. Glad to hear you got out along with Olive.

  • Zephyr November 9, 2018, 12:19 PM

    Gerard…so sorry to hear about your loss. I am glad you are safe and will continue with prayers and offer any help you may need. Let us know at Motus.

  • Terry November 9, 2018, 12:29 PM

    My dear wife Susan just informed me of the loss Gerard. We are very much saddened for you and your mother in this dire affair.

    The smile on my wifes’s face is now gone, on her birthday.

  • Nancy Moss November 9, 2018, 12:31 PM

    So relieved that you and your cat are safe with mom. Like many others, the moment I heard “Paradise,” I thought of you. You have our prayers. Let us know how we might help. We’ll be there.

  • BJM November 9, 2018, 12:36 PM

    Glad you are safe…stuff can be replaced.

    @ CaseyKlahn:
    You bet! Tip jar to the right>



  • Dave November 9, 2018, 1:02 PM

    If you can smell the smoke at your Mom’s place, it is probably unhealthy for her to breathe. If so, get out of the area entirely.

  • Marica November 9, 2018, 1:18 PM

    So, so sorry.

  • Gerard vanderleun November 9, 2018, 1:18 PM

    I am thankful for all these good wishes and prayers. Humbled too.

    I’m limited now by this phone connection and my limited texting skills to express how grateful I am.

    God bless you all.

  • Daniel K Day November 9, 2018, 1:57 PM

    I’m very sorry to hear your house was destroyed, Gerard. I’ll be visiting your tip jar. Best wishes.

  • tscottme November 9, 2018, 2:28 PM

    I hit the tip jar. God bless you and yours at this time of difficulty.

  • BlogDog November 9, 2018, 2:50 PM

    Words fail. My only consolation in this is that you are safe. Damn!

  • azlibertarian November 9, 2018, 3:13 PM

    I’m just catching up here, and this is just awful news. I’m glad you’re safe….and with your mother. Family is important always, of course, but in crisis, they’re crucial. I offer my sincere best wishes.

  • Soviet of Washington November 9, 2018, 3:24 PM

    Glad you’re safe Gerard. How many of your nine lives have you used up now? Been reading your blog for what, 15 years. Old friends, though we’ve never met. Time for the 5 most important words in the English language (apropos theothermccain)…”hit the freaking tip jar.”

  • Vanderleun November 9, 2018, 3:25 PM

    STATUS TODAY AT 3:28: My large fingers make texting and writing from my small Androi d phone very cumbersome.

    I am hoping to get a viable internet conn ection going sometime within the next day. For now, my mother is safe in this the beginning of her 104th year in this life. She is fine except for som few miseries of advanced age and is mentally clear and sharp. In a way, this is an opportunity from God to help her more than I have and to grow closer still.

    And the cat I rescued two weeks ago is here and thriving in my mother’s place.

    For these mercies, I am deeply grateful.

    My personal library is gone and reduced to ash. Almost.

    It is ironic indeed that the one book I have left after a lifetime of making magazines and books is the book that I was reading in a restaurant and tossed in the back seat of my car.

    My one remaining book is “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.”

    And when I opened my trunk to remove the few clothes I put in it, there was my one remaining towel with them. So I have become the Dude who knows where his towel is at last.

    You people are so great. You sustain me. Many th anks. Beyond tfhat there are no words


  • Pistol November 9, 2018, 3:44 PM

    As long as your people are okay, the rest is just stuff. Hang in there.

  • Phil in Englewood November 9, 2018, 3:49 PM

    We are just beginning to sustain. You have sustained us more than you know for quite some time now. I am so very sorry for your loss. When the shock subsides, please let us know what we can do to make your life better as your blogging has made our lives better. Wonderful that your mother and your new Olivia are with you.

  • Marica November 9, 2018, 3:52 PM

    Gerard– I would be devastated if I lost my library. I have a few duplicates in mine. When the time is right, I’d be happy to ship them to you if you’re interested.

  • Steven Wright November 9, 2018, 5:11 PM

    My heart goes out to you and yours. I am very glad you made it out safe.

  • PA Cat November 9, 2018, 6:16 PM

    I too would grieve the loss of my books, but if your mother has a Bible and a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, you’ll have plenty of soul food. . . don’t know if your phone connection allows you to access YouTube, but when you can, here is a link to a wonderful hymn (sung here by the Georgia Boy Choir) that has sustained me ever since I encountered it as a young adult. It’s “All My Hope on God Is Founded”– Robert Bridges’ translation of a German hymn by Joachim Neander (Neumann), a pastor who died of tuberculosis in 1680 at the age of 30. The tune, “Michael,” was written in 1935 by Herbert Howells in memory of his son, who died of polio at the age of nine. Howells grieved for Michael until the end of his life. I think the back story of the hymn, both text and tune, is why it touches so many people.

    Here is the link to the choral performance:

    I chose this YouTube version because it includes all five stanzas of Neander’s hymn. The text is here:

    Meanwhile, may God continue to watch over and bless you, Mom, and Olive.

  • Jeff Brokaw November 9, 2018, 6:24 PM

    So sorry to hear your home and belongings are gone. I saw photos on Instagram this morning from Paradise and it was horrific. But you are safe and that’s what matters. Stay strong man.

  • R Daneel November 9, 2018, 7:35 PM

    Thank the Lord you are okay.


  • Nori November 9, 2018, 7:41 PM

    Personal library reduced to ash. Good Lord, dear man, those words strike at the heart of everyone who reads AD.
    That you are ok 4now is very good news.

  • Hale Adams November 9, 2018, 7:44 PM

    There’s not much that I can add, Gerard, to what the others have said.

    Yes, you got out, along with your cat, and you’re safe at your mother’s place, more or less at the time of her birthday, so that’s all to the good. 🙂 Yes, losing the library has to hurt (being a bibliophile), but it’s just stuph.

    …. and ….

    Happy 104th Birthday, Mrs. VanderLeun!

    Hale Adams
    Pikesville, People’s still-mostly-Democratic Republic of Maryland

  • Morgan K Freeberg November 9, 2018, 7:56 PM

    You’re always welcome here, you know that already.

  • lendie November 9, 2018, 9:20 PM

    I have a 2008 MacBookPro I can send you. If interested, email me lena@numbershuffler.com.
    Please take care and take comfort where you can.

  • Steve Swinney November 9, 2018, 9:59 PM

    Though we’ve not met face to face I feel you like a brother. As one who resides in the Sierras south of you I am grateful to God for His mercies. I’ve always said it’s not if, but when, it will burn. And the when is now to support Gerard. Keep an eye on the in-box of your tip jar

  • Alan Chamberlain November 9, 2018, 10:25 PM

    Beams. Anything. Just ask.

  • Mario Tennon November 9, 2018, 10:47 PM

    Gerard, I am glad that you and your loved ones are safe and okay, although I am saddened about you losing your home. May our Lord Jesus be with, comfort, heal, and provide for you as well as for all of those who have lost their homes (and worse) as a result of these wildfires.

  • Jaynie November 10, 2018, 4:11 AM

    Been reading your fantastic blog now for a while. You’ve given me so much to think about.
    Very sorry to hear about your library and your house. Losing all that must be incredibly difficult. You had wildfire out there not all that long ago too.
    Double edged sword with the good part being that you are out away from the danger.
    Take care. Good luck when you go about rebuilding. Praying for you and others hurt by the fire.

  • Rick November 10, 2018, 5:00 AM

    Gerard, can see here that you are surrounded by those who love you. Sending our prayers and hopes for a new beginning and recovery from this terrible event. Peace to you, R&J

  • DeAnn November 10, 2018, 5:12 AM

    I will remember to pray for you during this probably surreal time.

  • Anita Brenner November 10, 2018, 5:20 AM

    Gerard, I’m so sorry to hear about this. Prayers for you and your mom. Please let me know if we can help. Glad you got out safely.
    So sorry to hear about this.
    Anita Brenner

  • Pat November 10, 2018, 6:48 AM

    Gerard, so sorry about your loss. Some of us have books we can send. Perhaps make a list and let us know after you are more settled. I am sure that we can share our wealth with you.

  • Frank P November 10, 2018, 7:27 AM

    Extremely sad to read of the loss of your home, your treasured possessions and the mundane essentials we all take for granted in the lottery of happenstance. Good luck for a material fresh start and best wishes from England whence you have a faithful following. Paradise lost, indeed.

  • TT November 10, 2018, 8:27 AM

    Have faith. God will handle it as always. I keep trying to take it over and I do far better when I let go and let God.

    You could do worse than with the Hitchhikers guide and a towel. 😉

    Blessings on you and your family.