On July 29th, a severe lightning storm traveled over California resulting in an eruption of fire activity across the north-state. In Siskiyou County alone (home to Kidder Creek) there were nearly 1,000 down lightning strikes in one day and fire crews responded to 26 wildfires. The majority of the fires were suppressed quickly, but two fires in particular became established in our area. As they grew, they began to pose a threat to the camp and surrounding community. Unfortunately, with the severity of our state’s drought situation, conditions allowed the fire to grow rapidly before crews were able to construct necessary fire lines.
During the eighth week of camp, firefighters and officers became a regular sight on camp property as they familiarized themselves with the area and made preparations to prevent the fire from reaching the camp. As the fire started climbing the ridge behind camp, Sheriff John Lopey issued an evacuation advisory that included Kidder Creek. Working closely with state and local officials, we activated our evacuation plan and transported our campers to nearby J.H. Ranch and livestock to the nearby Bryan-Morris Ranch—both camps took incredibly good care of us at no charge; a true example of the Body of Christ!
At camp, fire officials with bulldozers built new fire breaks and reinforced existing ones around Kidder Creek’s property. The National Guard came in to maintain these fire breaks and reduce fuels along the roads. The US Forest Service posted two crews on the front lawn at the Kidder Creek office to stand watch during the night. As the fire reached the ridge line above camp, fire crews intentionally lit the ridge on fire to try to stop it at the top. Their plan worked and the fire was successfully held at the ridge line above the camp!
We praise the Lord for his mercy, and for answering our prayers. During this time of uncertainty, the campers and staff remained safe and calm. Kidder Creek’s Summer Staff did an outstanding job preserving the camp experience by maintaining great composure and turning the evacuation into an ultimate adventure. The Reservations Team at Mount Hermon stayed late to call all parents and reassure them of our plans and the campers’ safety. It was an inspiring example of teamwork and purpose in Christ.
The “Log Fire” that threatened Kidder Creek is now 100% contained, but there are many other fires still burning across the north state that have destroyed homes and are threatening others. As these fires continue to burn, please join us in praying for the continued safety of the firefighters battling these blazes on the front lines, and the residents who are faced with the loss of their homes.
To get the latest and any additional information about the fires visit