The Carr Fire in northern California has consumed over 95,000 acres and is only at 17% containment. Sadly, six lives have been lost and there are still people missing. Nearly 900 structures have been destroyed, and the erratic flames could cause further destruction to more than 5,000 other structures that are anticipated to be in the path of the fire. The air quality in the area is very poor and causing respiratory issues for residents and emergency workers because of the magnitude of this fire, which is affecting the areas of Redding, Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown Lake, French Gulch, and other neighboring cities.

Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Redding is not in the path of the fire, but of the approximately 30 families who are stewards of this small but faithful community, half of them have been evacuated, including two families with small infants. These families are staying with relatives, friends and some in nearby hotels until they are able to determine if their homes are safe and when they can return. Parish priest, Rev. Father Nectarios Rozadilla, is providing for the needs of the parish, but asks for continued prayers for the control of this fire and the safety of all those who are suffering from this terrible tragedy.

“We are seeing devastation in all corners of the world, and now we are realizing this once again in our own backyard. The Carr Fire is yet one more statistic on the west coast, in a land that has been parched by drought for several years,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “It is not just enough to pray for the firefighters and emergency responders who are risking their lives to bring these fires under control. We must pray for God’s mercy to bring forth dew from heaven, and the restoration of the land, homes and livelihoods.”

Photo Credit: Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP