from corneliafunke.com - Cornelia evacuated her farm in Malibu, and sent an update from Venice Beach a few days ago. Read more from Cornelia on her experience from the past few days below, or in the Barn Times:
I guess everyone learned by now that Malibu is on fire. I had to evacuate my property on Friday morning while La Cubana, my wonderful friend and assistant, rented a house for me and other friends looking for safety from the flames. The journey to Venice Beach, usually 45 minutes, took seven hours, running from the fire and the wind that stirred it…
Before I left I tried in vain to catch my wild and wonderful donkeys and had to let them run free on my land. My six ducks didn’t like the idea of narrow boxes either, and I left them in their stable hoping the fire wouldn’t get to us.
It was a terrible feeling to take my dogs, a few notebooks, photo albums, and a suitcase filled with my favorite books, but to leave Zorro and Esperanza and the six chatty ducks behind. I felt like a traitor, but everyone urged me to get out and I knew my children wouldn’t like the idea of their mother battling flames.
So… I didn’t. But the man who had helped me plant and build and bring my property back to life after the long drought, came to fight the fires with his men.
Alfonso Fuentes, whom I like to call El Brujo, as he can talk to trees and make them flower, arrived with César, Rojelio, Alejandro and a few more of his wonderful men and they have been fighting for my house and barn for two days and nights now.
Of course they saved the donkeys and the ducks…
I don’t know yet how all this will echo in my books. Alfonso is already mentioned in The Glass of Lead and Gold. He will for sure play a part in the next Dragonrider…
The fires are still burning. I am not sure I’ll have a house by the end of the week.
We all hope they’ll open the roads on Tuesday and that we can get back. Whatever we’ll find - it will not be the Malibu we loved. But the ones who stayed and fought the fire made it in a way even more beautiful, although it is a burned paradise.
As of Monday morning, over 350 structures had been lost as a result of the fire in Malibu, known as the Woolsey Fire. We’re all very thankful Cornelia, Jake, and Tabby are safe, and hope that everyone who’s been displaced will be able to return soon.