I'm down here working the Mill Valley Film Festival (40th year!! My third year) and we awoke on Monday to the smell of smoke and the hills hidden from view, ash raining down from the sky. It reminded me of the fires we've had up in Washington this August. But this fire is different. This one is tearing through Sonoma and Napa, on a rampage, fueled by years of drought and swift winds that change daily. In just a few days over 160,000 acres have burned to the ground. To put that in perspective, that's 250 square miles, or the city of Chicago. Or three Seattles.
Today was my day off and I was able to tag along with two other fine folks to volunteer up in Napa at The Napa Deli. We drove 40 minutes through thickening smoke and scorched landscapes. We arrived at the deli a little before the lunch hour ready to work. This deli is incredible! They made 300 sandwiches yesterday, today they fed over 1,200 first responders. They are making meals for firefighters and evacuees and driving boxes of food to nearby shelters. The community next to them is being evacuated today, but they are staying until the last hour to get meals out to those in need.