Some closure, but work to be done
The thank-you celebration Sunday afternoon on the Capitol Complex lawn was a tremendous way to pull together the community for a bit of closure on the Waterfall fire and an outlook on the work still ahead.
The service clubs of Carson City deserve a solid pat on the back for pulling off on short notice the cookout and tribute to firefighters. It started with the Kiwanis and we also saw Rotary, Lions Club, Sertoma, Soroptimist, Elks, Eagles and Jaycees members toiling away to feed and refresh the thousands of people who turned out.
There were donations from several businesses and groceries, a banner from the Millard family and no doubt many contributions from several others – just the kind of cooperative effort we’ve come to expect from Carson City residents.
Reading some of the messages written on the “Thank you, firefighters” banner was touching and inspiring. It was a chance for people to express some of the emotion that built up over the course of several hectic and desperate days, when there were no guarantees just how long and far the fires would burn.
Some firefighters admitted to being a bit self-conscious at all the praise. It’s their job, they said. They’re supposed to protect lives and property. And, of course, hundreds of firefighters who were in Carson City to battle the blaze are now headed off to fight some other fire and protect someone else’s homes.
But it meant a great deal to Carson City residents to be able to express that gratitude. When they saw with their own eyes the danger and difficulty of the job – and how close many more came to having their homes lost or damaged – they felt the need to reach out.
At the same time, the service clubs were collecting donations and volunteers for the work ahead – planting and reseeding, to rehabilitate the burned areas.
The flyer they handed out read, “Please don’t pray for rain.” The reason, of course, is that Carson City’s water supply would be threatened by runoff from the scarred hills. It will take a long time to restore.
We hope to never have such a disaster again, but we know the potential for fires with every lightning storm and, now, the potential for damaging floods with every shower. The one constant is that, when tested, Carson City residents will come through.