Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fire: Day Five

It's 2:06 pm.

I'll be honest.  I didn't post a fire update this morning because I was busy getting my firebox together.

Here's a map of the evacuation area at this point:

I know that doesn't give you an idea of where I am and what I'm dealing with . . . . so at the northeast, part of this map, if you can find that big white squiggly line . . . I'm about  1/2 inch off of the map.   Yes, off of the map.  I'm not in a pre-evac area.  I'm not in an evacuation area.  But let me just say . . . . last night, this is what I was looking at:  

And this

Oooh, here's another good one of the Air Force Academy Chapel.  I can't see, but it's worth linking.  

Last night, MOTH was at Bingo, calling for the Booster Club and I was home with the munchkins when the red haze settled over the north end of the city, ash starting falling out of the sky and two phrases kept going through my mind: 

1.  Mount St. Helens 
2.  Apocalypse 

Have you seen The Percy Jackson movie?  It looks and smells like their portrayal of the underworld here.  It's terrifying.  Absolutely horrifying.   Last night, I was absolutely prepared to evacuate.  I was at the point of believing, 100%, that we would have to evacuate.  I don't think the flames and fire will get as far east as OUR house, but I was ready to evacuate for smoke inhalation and come home to smoke damage.  It's that bad.  It's amazing.   I packed the car, at least partially last night.  The kids were scared, but such troopers.  I asked each of them to pack a weekend bag and park it by the door, just in case we do fall under an evacuation order.  I put photo albums and a case of water in the car.  I put in the list of stuff.  Towels, batteries, meds.  I'll have to unplug the computer and grab the hard drive.  I'll go at the pre-evacuation stage.  Traffic is a nightmare out of those evacuation areas and people are acting like asses.  So, here's my two cents worth on evacuations.  

Dear People, 

There comes a time in everyone's life when you really must defer to an expert.  If that's a cancer diagnosis, you defer to your doctor's opinion.  If that's putting your money into a hedge fund, you defer to some financial planner.  When you house is threatened with fire, you trust the well trained men and women who are doing their jobs and you get the F*&^ out!!  Don't stay and put your life and theirs in further danger.  Don't drive on the sidewalks as you flee the scene.  Don't run red lights.  And for God's sake, don't stop in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic to take pictures.  For the love, People, use your heads.

And Opinionated Blogger

Here are the stats as of this morning: 
15,834 acres burned (recall 24 hours ago it was 4,500), so those 65 mph winds tripled the size of this fire.  Can we all say a collective, 'holy crap?'
32,500 evacuated people
Multiple. Bold.  Multiple.  Caps.  Multiple.  Italics. Multiple.  Underlined.  MULTIPLE structured lost.
1,000 firefighters working . . . . as well as all of the local authorities running evacuations and working alongside
5% contained 
0 accidents
0 injuries
0 fatalities

So in these situations, everyone becomes an expert, since we are all watching 24/7 news feeds.  Here's the thing worth repeating from the IC's report this morning.  And I quote:   We expect today to have trouble  today, with this fire challenging all established lines around the entire perimeter of this fire.  Late afternoon weather in the form of outflow winds and storms will likely drive the fire into populated areas.  I think it's time for another collective, 'oh, crap'.

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