San Diego Fire Update – October 2007

San Diego made international news once again because of the devastating wild fires that swept through the county this October. Over 1500 homes and businesses were destroyed and over 500,000 people were evacuated. Fires are still burning as of November 2, 2007.

Our “Samarpan Spiritual Leadership Center” in Alpine, CA was under mandatory evacuation. Paul Gordon, our on-site Program Director and facility caretaker, reported seeing smoke in the distance in two different directions on Sunday, October 21 at noon. By 4 a.m. early Monday morning, he could see flames over the El Capitan Reservoir and reported 70+ mile-an-hour Santa Ana winds which tore down tree branches and blew apart a tool shed on the retreat grounds. Paul evacuated to his brother’s house in Carlsbad and later evacuated that location because of 2 voluntary evacuation decrees. He and his family were displaced for 2 nights. There was no fire damage at the retreat facility, but air patrols are still overhead scouting for hot spots that may endanger our location.

Mary and Alex Kodiath, founders of the Samarpan Non-Profit organization, and their daughter Pria were also evacuated from their home in Poway, CA. Their home was spared and all are safe once again.

Amongst the horrible devastation, acts of “unconditional service” (Samarpan) could be seen throughout San Diego County. The heroic efforts of our fire, police and military were extraordinary and the spirit of volunteerism in San Diego was/is inspirational!!! Strangers helping strangers… a community coming together to help those in need was TRUE LEADERSHIP IN ACTION!

THANK YOU to all our benefactors, friends and supporters for all of your prayers during this stressful time… your thoughtfulness has been gratefully appreciated!

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