A few minutes earlier Nic had been on the phone with her. She had heard about the fire and while it wasn't threatening her neighborhood at the moment, she felt the sudden urge to go home and check on her puppies just in case. Not two minutes after she got inside, a sheriff knocked on her front door. She had five minutes to evacuate her home. In a moment of panic with Nic on the phone with her, she had to decide what to bring and what to leave behind. She scooped up her dogs, some important documents, and some family pictures and left.
Fast forward about 30 minutes and she showed up on our doorstep with two confused dogs and a terrified look on her face. I felt completely helpless but I did what I knew I could do - I said a prayer and gave her a safe place to sleep. We spent hours into the night listening intently to any and all updates provided by all of the local news stations. We don't have cable so the updates came from either a phone or a laptop (which is pretty much the same these days). After getting very little sleep, we woke up to find that the news didn't have much more to report in the morning than they had the night before.
Finally by mid afternoon we were informed that 66 homes and 29 buildings had burned down. My mother-in-laws home was not one of them. They had contained the fire about a football fields length away from her front yard. I kept thinking in that moment, am I supposed to feel relieved? Because I was. For her, my heart was so happy and so grateful. But then my thoughts drifted to the other 66 families that lost everything and my heart sank and it has sort of stayed there ever since.
I wish I could take every single one of them in. We are lucky to live in such a wonderful community that so many businesses and people have reached out and have been providing places to stay and food for them to eat. While I'm grateful that no one was hurt and it is only possessions they have lost, I can't imagine what it would be like to lose a home. The one place that I go to feel safe and protected from the world. It makes me want to cry for them.
Just like with my mother-in-law, I feel helpless but I know I shouldn't because I can offer the best kind of help. The help that these families will need more than ever in the coming monthes and that help is prayer. I'm praying that families being effected by fires going on all over the United States right now feel comfort and safety. Communities can do great things. I'm grateful for the fire department and all of their efforts to put out these fires. Their service is our miracle.
all photos from The Idaho State Journal.