There’s definitely more smoke this morning, but Highways 89 and 50 are opening again, and evacuees will be allowed back this morning. No more news on containment figures, but I’m hoping I hear the happy sound of flying aircraft soon.
I’ve been listening to a local FM station since the fire began, a real change from my traditional NPR preferences. While the music has ranged from ok to bad, the local DJ’s updates on the fire and general commentary have been quite comforting. Many, many locals have called in offering shelter, food, and general help, which has shown this old cynic that there is a lot of good in this world. And while there are strong feelings as to how and why this happened (the head of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency got booed of the stage of last night’s community meeting, though I’m not sure exactly why), right now most people realize that the focus needs to be on fighting the fire and caring for those who have been displaced.
Estimates right now are that the economy will take a $1 billion hit, seeing as we’re tourism based. However, considering that the fire’s impacts have been primarily residential and forest land, it’s all the more reason for visitors to come visit and show their support for this glorious place and the people who call it home.