California Oblates Currently Safe From Giant Wildfire

By Bro. Craig Bonham, OMI (December 6, 2017)

(Editor’s note: the U.S. Oblates currently serve two parishes in San Fernando, California: St. Ferdinand and Santa Rosa.)

NBC News Photo

Bro. Craig Bonham, OMI

Currently, the Oblates in San Fernando, CA are in no danger from the Creek fire.  I awoke about 4:30 AM this morning to a smell of smoke that brought to mind the fire at Our Lady of the Ozarks (former Oblate Minor Seminary in Carthage, MO) my senior year.  Checked our house and then went out and checked our garbage bin and found no fire.   Due to street lights, I saw the  outside air was filled with smoke.

I checked the internet for local fire report and found it is being called the Creek Fire.   At that time most of the news was the Ventura fire, about 55 miles to Northwest, which is much larger.  The wind here was generally from NNE and occasionally N, but the Creek fire is to our NE to ENE, so do not know why we were getting the smoke.

By mid-morning (yesterday)  the air here was clear,  as wind was generally blowing from 9 AM from the NNE at 20 mph with gusts to 35 mph.  However, there are some gusts 60 to 80 mph.  Given the windblown items, it is a good day to stay home and work indoors.

Below is a website with the Fire evacuation map.  On the map St. Ferdinand’s Rectory is near the “e” in “San Fernando.”

We are close, about 3 to 5 miles from being down wind of the fire.  Given the history of the Santa Ana winds, it is likely to continue from mainly the NNE and N.