Relief news from California, USA - 21 Sep 2011  
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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news from California, USA.
At the start of September 2011, a blaze that became known as the Canyon Fire ignited in southern California when a small plane crashed near the mountain town of Tehachapi.

Along with lives claimed, the fire consumed 15,000 acres of rugged terrain and destroyed dozens of homes and buildings. Fires continued to be sparked in the area due to lightning strikes.

Firefighter, California, USA (M): All of California this week has been experiencing lightning episodes coming through. And this base camp was originally set up for the Canyon Fire that was probably two weeks ago now.
And just yesterday, as they were getting ready to take this camp down, another series of lightning storms came through and started a whole large number of fires throughout the area.

VOICE: Conveying all her love and prayers, Supreme Master Ching Hai had immediately asked that our Association members please go if possible to comfort those most in need, saying that expenses would be reimbursed as needed.

Upon receiving this urgent relief message, our Association’s relief team from Los Angeles set out for southwestern Kern County in the Tehachapi region on September 10.

Just as they were arriving, rain began to fall, greatly helping to douse the wildfires. The relief team visited the firefighting personnel’s base camp, where officials said all the evacuees and reconstruction were being taken care of by the local and state governments, the state Red Cross, the affected and their insurance companies.

Our Association members drove up Blackburn Canyon, where they found structures that had been reduced to ashes.

Relief recipient, Blackburn Canyon, California, USA (F): That's my house there, that used to be my house. And I was coming next door to visit my mom. The firemen came.

They had a truck in each of our driveways and said that they were going to try to defend the place and we should probably leave. So we left, and we went to my brother's house. We've been staying there ever since. They had the roads closed still so we couldn't come back and see but after a few days we finally had the chance to come back and see that the house had burned down.
We haven't really had a chance to look through the ashes yet to see if there's anything left that we can save.

VOICE: The relief team offered their sympathies to two families who had lost their homes, and gave them each a gift bag containing US$500 to help them along their road of recovery, as well as informative SOS flyers and Supreme Master Ching Hai’s book, “From Crisis to Peace” describing the vegan solution to such disasters.

Relief recipient, Blackburn Canyon, California, USA (F): I'm pretty overwhelmed at everyone's generosity. I'm grateful for all the help that we've been given and your gift especially was very welcome. Thank you so much.

Supreme Master TV (F): God bless you.
Supreme Master TV (M): We wish you best on your road of recovery.

Relief recipient, Blackburn Canyon, California, USA (F): Thank you.
Relief recipient, Blackburn Canyon, California, USA (M): Thank you very much, Supreme Master Ching Hai. Thank you very much.

VOICE: Our appreciation, officials, firefighting personnel, and the Red Cross, for your helpful initiatives. We also thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for her heartfelt care of the afflicted and our Association’s relief team for their endeavors to assist the disaster-stricken. With Heaven’s blessings, may the people of California swiftly recover their normal daily lives, as humanity’s more considerate stewardship of the ecosphere helps secure a safe environmentfor all beings.