Alpiners display their gratitude |

Alpiners display their gratitude

by Lisa Gavon
R-C Alpine Bureau

Lightning and thundershowers still loom ominously on the horizon, but Markleeville residents heaved a sigh of relief once the pre-evacuation orders were lifted last Sunday.

Firefighters had been battling the Washington Fire in the beautiful lands surrounding our small town and along the Monitor and Ebbetts pass highway corridors.

After a week of having their most important possessions stowed in their cars and trailers, anxiously watching the horizon for flames, checking news updates, and dealing with blowing smoke and ash, people living in Markleeville can finally begin to relax.

The fire crews did an outstanding job of subduing the blaze with both land and air attacks. Local residents have nothing but praise for a job well done. Shouts of “Thank you for saving Markleeville” ring through the streets, and the community has gathered together to make signs and banners to hang everywhere they possibly can. Locals wave and smile at the passing trucks, and the air is filled with a deep appreciation for these spectacular mountains, our idyllic town, and the bravery of the men and women willing to risk their lives to defend it.

Firefighters have been patrolling the neighborhoods, getting to know the layout of the streets and possible evacuation routes, in addition to giving people a feeling of security and protection.

Along with clearing firebreaks, their presence offered a heightened sense of safety when the town was facing the possibility of being swept away in flames. The firefighters went out of their way to talk with people, and to reassure them if they could. In return, local families and businesses have been baking cookies, pizzas, and snacks for the brave souls who have protected the town we love from being destroyed by a devastating fire. Thank you to the firefighters from the citizens who call both Alpine County and Markleeville their home.