This is the fire we had been warned about. Not on a remote part of the desert or far off in the wilderness, but right in the thickly populated forest around Lake Tahoe.
There may come great changes from this catastrophe on such things as how forests are managed and how homeowners must protect their property. But for now, it is the people we must be concerned about.
Thousands of lives are being changed. Fear and uncertainty hang as thick as the smoke.
It is in the hands of the firefighters now, and with them go our thoughts and prayers for their safety and for success in holding the line on this devastation.
There are things we can do for them and for the many people who lost their homes. That information is listed elsewhere in today's paper, and there is no question that Northern Nevadans will step up to fill the need as they have done so many times in the past. Already, donations are pouring in to collection sites.
We ask you to remember another way to support the efforts of the firefighters, and that's to make sure this is the only fire they will have to worry about. Another fire in our region could force fire managers to divert desperately needed crews elsewhere. All of us must do whatever we can to make sure that doesn't happen, and that includes talking to our children about the dangers of playing with fire. Using fireworks isn't legal in most areas.
Let's support the firefighters as they put their lives on the line putting out this fire - and by making sure it won't happen again.