The following message, written by hieromonk Damascene, is the latest on the situation with the wildfires near St. Herman's Monastery. Thank you for your prayers. They seem to have been answered. Also, thanks to Clint Hale for forwarding this to me.
Glory be to God, we received wonderful news this evening. The NobleFire around Platina is now 81% contained, having burned 12,500 acres.Because the winds did not pick up in the vicinity of Platina over thelast few days, the firefighters had ample opportunity to contain thefire. As of this evening at 6 pm, the evacuation of Platina has beenlifted. We are now planning to move back to the St. Herman Monasterytomorrow. The Telephone Fire near Wildwood is now 52% contained,having burned 4,700 acres. The evacuation for Wildwood is still inplace. However, the forest rangers told us tonight that they arehoping to lift the evacuation for Wildwood tomorrow, at which time thenuns will be able to return to St. Xenia Skete. I will write againwhen, God willing, we have returned to Platina. We continue to begrateful for the unremitting prayers that have been offered for thepreservation of our monasteries. By the Grace of God, there has notbeen any significant dry lightning over the last few days, as had beenforecasted. Also, as mentioned above, the absence of strong winds hasbeen a tremendous boon for the firefighters.