Month: October 2015

The Very First Step

We’ve heard from the local, professional crews that are contracted to address the fire damage in Lake County that Harbin is due to have its clean-up begin sometime in the next 4 weeks. Once the clean-up begins it will be a month of intense work to get the grounds cleared of fire debris. Does this mean that the pools are soon to open, or that visitors can return? Unfortunately it does not. In fact those days are quite a ways off and much more work is needed to come. This is only just the first step in remediating the lands and pool area… but it is the first step and that makes us happy.

Post-fire at Harbin Hot Springs Retreat & Workshop Center, Middletown, CA, (Photo by Angela Frucci)
Post-fire at Harbin Hot Springs Retreat & Workshop Center, Middletown, CA, (Photo by Angela Frucci)

Harbin Hot Springs 2.0

Each day Harbin receives numerous inquiries about volunteering and rebuilding.  We hear from residents, staff and guests alike who wish to pick up a shovel or swing a hammer and get the pools open.  These requests remind us that Harbin is a part of many, many lives.


Please know that if there was a way to channel these offers we would, and that we are touched by the numbers of you who have reached out in this way.
Harbin will be rebuilt.  Yet before that happens major efforts in clean-up, remediation, planning and design need to take place.  This is an enormous task, and one that cannot be rushed.


There is, however, a way to contribute.  Hold in your memory what Harbin was to you, and keep in your vision what it can become…and remind us!

Over the last 10 days…

Over the last 10 days, Harbin employees have been returning to Lake County as various neighborhoods have been opened to residents. As you can imagine, this has been an emotional time for us. Many have returned to piles of ash where their homes once stood, while others found their homes intact, but the surrounding neighborhood destroyed. The charred hills in the distance remind us of the extent of the firestorm.


Harbin itself has been transformed. Although a few random structures still stand, most buildings and all resident housing on property have been destroyed. The pools still exist, as do the springs, but the plumbing and treatment systems will need major work. Until an assessment of the damage is complete, and professional cleanup crews are dispatched, the area is off limits due to major safety concerns.


As devastating as the losses have been, it’s quite heartening to see the determination, compassion and support that this event has unleashed in our community. Chance meetings in town are major reunions. Tears are often accompanied by laughter. Some are planning to move on, so goodbyes often carry more meaning. Hugs last a bit longer than a few weeks ago.


There are many questions unanswered at this time, but we are moving forward toward a new future for Harbin and our community. We’ll keep you posted.

Call 707-987-2477

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