Vion Family Fire Recovery

Late Wednesday afternoon on August 12, 2020 a fast-moving brush fire swept through Angeles National Forest in Lake Hughes, CA and claimed our family home of over forty years.

Glowing embers and massive billows of smoke filled the air and a wall of roaring flames surrounded us. Ash and fire retardant rained down covering us from head to toe as we raced frantically back and forth to gather our family pets (Nadia and Orangie) and memorabilia. With only minutes to spare, we made it to safety and watched in the distance down the road as the fire engulfed our home. We are so very fortunate that we made it out alive! But we lost EVERYTHING - our family home, generational family business and personal belongings were destroyed.

We are raising funds to help rebuild our lives during these uncertain times. As anyone can understand, going through such a devastating event causes a tremendous amount of emotional distress and financial burden.

During these unprecedented times, we know that many people are facing hardships. So, we are incredibly grateful for any donations.

PS: Thank you so much to all that have already - and are going to contribute. I’d like to acknowledge that we are not the only people to have experienced loss in the course of this fire; in fact, to my current understanding – 14 of our neighbors are also currently in the throes of loss – directly. A good friend of mine has also set up a go fund me account for all who’s homes are lost to this fire. We will be, and are working on merging the funds from both of these efforts, so that all charities we be equally divided to all who have lost.

I also would like to acknowledge the great fortune we have had to have grown up, lived in, and loved this area. My heart is broken for the loss not only to my human neighbors, but to the truly highly developed plant and animal communities that have also called this home. As a friend once coined – this area is truly a last frontier in LA county. To have come to appreciate the flora and fauna here, and to learn to the topography right from boyhood in my excursions into these mountains has afforded the ability to absorb the energies and beauties offered to any with the privilege of witnessing it. In my developing interest with Native plants, also came a developing interest of Native people who have called this home, and have loved and developed relationships with these ecosystems since time immemorial. This loss is theirs too, and one thing I have learned about so many cultures who spring from this area – is their integrity with all surrounding them – and their great generosity. They divided equally amongst each other – and never burdened the generosities of their local beyond what they knew it could afford. Having a desire to embrace such qualities – I must say the generosity of your contributions is a bright light in a time of loss and uncertainty; it is spectacular. To emulate the magnanimity of your action and contribution, by sharing it with all who have lost, and showing a spirt of integrity – is an honor. I can not begin to tell you how much this all means to me – and again, thank you so much.

I am working with Bill towards the distribution of such funds – we are familiar with 10 of the 14 people/families who have lost their homes. That means we still have connections to make – if you are one these people – please contact me so as to assist in directing your portion of this charity to you.

Sincerely - George, Karen, Leigh, Lonnie, Luke and Les.

Lake Fire in Angeles National Forest 




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Les Vion 
Lake Hughes, CA
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