Childhood Memories Marred by Fire
Wine Country is a popular destination for northern Nevadans for wine tasting, weddings or even just a weekend getaway. However, for a young woman – who has lived in Reno for the past several years – Sonoma County is also a special place she used to call home. She is watching the images coming out of her hometown with devastation, as some of her family and friends have lost just about everything.
More than a dozen fires are devouring the wine country with flames ravaging California hot spots like Napa and Sonoma counties. This northern California area is a popular destination for northern Nevadans. It is also where Jill Lapham grew up.
“So it's taken a toll on my heart. I just feel like my childhood is burnt to the ground." Jill doesn't even recognize the neighborhoods in her Santa Rosa hometown; a place she fondly refers to as her life's foundation is reduced to just that - foundations. Ash, melted memories and burnt belongings line communities left in the wake of more than a dozen fires.
Some of Jill's best friends are now homeless and living with friends; her grandparents' house is gone, too. "It's been really hard seeing my friends and family suffer from all this." Jill’s memories are marred by the flames, too. She remembers playing at a park that is now filled with ash. "Playing soccer and softball; it's not even existent anymore." But while the setting of her story may never look the same, "I'm glad everybody is safe; that's what matters. People are not replaceable."