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Keep TE Rebecca Watkins, her husband Jim and the community of Lee Vining in our prayers as they are feeling the threat of wildfires in Kern County.  Here is the latest update from Rebecca:

Things have settled down a bit with what is being called the “marina” fire…the wind shifted about three hours ago, pushing to the north.  As I stand out behind the church the ridge closest to the church is smoldering…the dark gray black plumes are rising off the northern ridge of the canyon that has burned and I imagine the fire to be over that ridge but not sure how far north it goes.  Jim and the Lee Vining volunteer fire team left town this morning at 5:30 AM and are stationed at Tioga Lodge doing structure protection…

Helicopters are filling up their buckets in the lake, then flying over the Lodge to drop their loads on that hill and to the north.  I understand a retardant tanker dropped a line behind the Tioga Lodge. 395 is closed coming into town as well as from Tioga Pass into town…for now it looks like we will not have to evacuate to the Community Center in June Lake (though we would go to friends in Mammoth if need be)…an answer to prayer as it looked quite the opposite around noon.

I’ve kept the cats in all day…their carriers are ready as is the trailer packed with a few things…thank goodness it has only been 88 today-those fighting the fire wear such hot suits.  Feel free to share info with the others in the Presbytery…it’s comforting and a powerful thing to have lots of prayer.

Again thank you,

6/25/2016 – “This morning I went over to get things ready for Sunday worship.  After, I came out the church front door to the sound, the hum of a Big Boy…a jet…it came directly over the church steeple…I looked right up into his exposed white belly… flying low and slow, heavy with fire retardant.  It followed precisely the small pilot plane out in front, looking, for all the world, like it would run right into the Eastern Sierra rising above Mono Lake.  Then a slight up tick, slow…follow, follow.  Finally a steep bank to the right, wide wings extending over two jet engines.  The bomber, sliding sideways, followed the slope of the canyon terrain not far beneath ….spreading its orange pay load, finishing low over highway 395, pulling up over the lake…nice job!”
Hilda and Denis…prayers were answered…prayers that the winds die down.  Most days, late afternoon the winds start or pick up.  Yesterday it was so calm, amazingly calm and pleasant except for the smoky air.  Thank you for your prayers and sending out a prayer request.  The fire is still burning on the northern edge.  Helicopters and bombers are working to snuff it out.
Peace, Rebecca

May the Lord bless and keep all those who are fighting the fires, as well as those who are in the path of the flames.

Yours in Christ, Hilda