UPDATE: FIRE NEAR LIFE GIVING SPRING MONASTERY, DUNLAP, CA
Received update below this morning. These dear monastic sisters, residents,
firefighters and wild-life in the area need much prayer right now.
Property, lives and more in the area are endangered. Let us, together,
ask for a miracle to deliver all!
MONASTERY AND SAINT NICHOLAS RANCH IN DUNLAP, CA
The Rough Fire located in central California has consumed over
103,000 acres. Residents in many communities along its path have been
evacuated, included staff at Saint Nicholas Ranch and Retreat Center and
the adjacent Monastery of the Theotokos the Life Giving Spring. The fire is
approximately four miles away from the Ranch and Monastery facilities,
located in Dunlap, California, and the air quality is extremely poor and is
a health hazard for residents.
Abbess Markella and 18 sisters from the Monastery are graciously
being provided with accommodations from the Sisters of Nazareth from the
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, and Monastery Chaplain Rev. Father John
Angelis is staying in the home of parishioners from Saint George in Fresno.
Three sisters remain at the Monastery, and Saint Nicholas Ranch Director
Michael Pappas is also still on the Ranch property. At the present time,
the evacuation is strongly advised but not required. Should a mandatory evacuation
be issued, they will immediately leave and seek safety in Fresno. In the
attached picture you can see the large cloud of smoke in the sky
approaching the historic barn at Saint Nicholas Ranch, which gives a
clearer indication of the proximity of this fire.
“We pray for the safekeeping of our beloved Monastery and Saint
Nicholas Ranch, and for all those in the area. We will remain vigilant in
our supplications to the Lord that the fires may be contained and not cause
any further destruction,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San
Francisco. “We are also grateful for the valiant efforts of the
firefighters and pray for their strength to endure this battle, so they may
return to their homes and loved ones unharmed.”
Saint Nicholas Ranch is presently providing housing for 22
firefighters from Cal Fire who are in need of accommodations during their
rest periods from active fire duty. The Rough Fire was started by a
lightning strike in July 2015 and has been growing in intensity. The
extreme heat and drought in California have exacerbated conditions, making
this fire hard to control.
The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco will provide further
updates as additional information becomes available.