Posts Tagged With: butte fire


Driving home from Oregon yesterday took seven and a-half hours. As I rolled into the county, local radio announced a burn of 450 acres near Mountain Ranch, the area that took the brunt of the Butte Fire. The Butte Fire is considered the worst for home losses in the state from a single fire.

The day before I left, I managed a quick trip to the local Arts Council Gallery for a look at their exhibit entitled History From The Ashes. DSC08424 (Copy)

There is no joy in picking up cherished or simply common objects from your burned out property. Mostly sadness, tears and awe that anything recognizable survived the conflagration.

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We know art is healing. And there is something about picking through the ashes that must be common to all of us. I watched on television as folks did just that after Katrina. The flood, destroyed as completely as fire.

DSC08436 (Copy)When my house burned to the ground in Michigan, I remember finding  my melted marbles and my mother’s  jar full of precious coins. The wafts of smoke coming from the ashes, the strong smell, the bent bed springs and melted cook stove didn’t make me give up hope that I might find a heart shaped plastic locket my grandmother gave me that contained a tiny rosary. Of course, it couldn’t possibly survive, but my 8 year self believed in miracles.

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Items found, were given an artful setting of remembrance.

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Or put together to form a sculpture or a mobile.

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One survivor made a fabric wall hanging, with burned out spars of trees surrounded by wild flowers. A reality, wild flowers, rain fed, follow a burn.

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Dead bushes and trees amid new grass on this canvas.

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You can see my face reflected in the glass covering a spectacular photo by John Slot of the borate bomber releasing its chemical fire retardant.

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And this photo by Katie Clark of a partially burned home with a surviving flag.

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The most spectacular piece in the show is this shawl, positioned like an effigy with burned offerings at its feet. The shawl was made from the ties that bound hay bales distributed to land owners. Hay spread on bare ground, an effort to help prevent erosion. This artist washed and dyed the pieces. She softened them enough for weaving and wove this shawl.

It is a good feeling that something pretty, or remembered or useful rises from the ashes of despair and we can all see through to their recovery and healing, as art surpasses the ashes.










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DSC07218 (Copy)The Mountain Melody Women’s Chorus gave two free concerts for donations to the Butte Fire. This one held at the Outer Aisle, right at the end of my road, where one can have a glass of wine, a salad and a bowl of soup, too.

DSC07213 (Copy)A pianist and two flautists add a lovely dimension too this chorus.

DSC07212 (Copy)Everyone sings, but the director emphasizes voices giving individuals a chance to shine.  Marta Johnson not only sings, but she is a talented artist along with equally talented artist, husband, Kevin.

DSC07214 (Copy)A solo excerpt by Jennifer Labrado,  a strong voice. I’m hoping I’ve remembered her last name.

DSC07215 (Copy)Lizz Armstrong in red, and a woman I do not know adjusting the mic, waiting for their moment to perform a duet interlude. Both are sopranos, with strong, uplifting voices.

DSC07219 (Copy)Everyone does their part. The gentleman in silhouette announced each number.

The joyful sounds of Christmas make glad the heart and to help others is an extra comfort when so many are unable to find a Christmas tree in their burned woods, nor a place to put it.

Merry Christmas


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California’s Butte Fire Photos…

The motorhome is parked at Mary’s home in Murphys, California.

I’m planning to  depart November 30th. While here, I’ll do routine maintenance, minor repairs and major cleaning of the Bronco and motorhome.

Today’s subject: California’s Butte Fire…

Recently in California, there  were two large fires. The Butte Fire came within about 14 miles of Mary’s home. Starting September 9th, it was finally contained on October 1st. It scorched 110 square miles destroying 475 residences, 343 outbuildings and 45 other structures.

You can read about the fire by clicking this link…


Yesterday Mary and I drove east from San Andreas several miles on the Mountain Ranch Road, gaining elevation, it is a very narrow and winding road. It was difficult to take photos because there are few places to pull over and locals drive far too fast on that road. We saw many crews restoring power lines.

During that time, Mary became very emotional remembering when at the age of seven, her home burnt to the ground. What we saw was a very tiny portion affected by the fire.

Here are some of the photos that I took…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

(Note: Other photos published on this original posting have been removed at the property owner’s request.)


This is the remains of once was an about 26 foot Class C Motorhome…




Some of the folks are living in tents for the time being. Colder weather is not that far away…




A sign of life…




To see the other 41 photos in this album…





California’s Butte Fire


Like I said earlier, we saw only a tiny portion. It’s just hard to imagine the scope of such a disaster. Yet, life must go on. Only two fatalities are attributed to this fire.

I hope you enjoyed the photos.

 Yesterday was a mostly sunny and 76 degrees. Forecast for today is cloudy/sunny and 83 degrees.

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


My current travel rig is a 2006 Fleetwood 26′ Class A Motorhome and a towed 1986 Ford Bronco II, Eddie Bauer Model. This photo was taken in the desert at Slab City near Niland, California…


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 600 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original works copyrighted – Jim Jaillet -2015

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