Friday, June 29, 2012

Fire Aftermath

The fire burned just to the edge of this yard.

The fire moving further up and over the edge of the mountain


Yesterday the evacuation order was lifted, and everybody got to go back to their homes. My aunt left first thing in the morning, and we came up a little while later to bring back her stuff. Wow is all I can say. 

The fire got closer than any wildfire has ever gotten to that town. Yet, somehow the town was practically untouched. Only one vacation cabin was burned, and a couple sheds and a porch. The Eyewitness said that when the fire got to the town, it was like there was a protective bubble around the houses, and the fire split around the town. Yes. I think it was a miracle.  And yes, I think it also had something to do with the amazing firefighters we have. They did tons to protect the houses, and everything else. I guess some people stayed in town and formed a bucket line to protect some of the houses that were threatened. The cemetery, which is at the beginning of the town, was saved.  I kinda wish I could have been there to see it.

Just driving through the town, you could feel the heat radiating from the smoldering embers surrounding the city. Smoke, and ash were floated over the town like a lingering ghost, casting an eery feel over the land.

Seeing how close the fire got, and seeing how the town was saved, I'm pretty much at a loss for words. The town has a lot of rye-grass and old buildings that could have went up (poof) and devoured everything. 

But amazingly, it wasn't. 

The wind picked up a lot yesterday, so the fire went northeast over the mountain, devouring most of the canyon, and threatening other towns. I hope they will be okay. 

They won't let anybody up onto the canyon for obvious reasons, but I saw a picture posted on the net of the amazing Ponderosa's trees that got burned in the canyon. They looked pretty toasted. Yet the news states that they still are alive. But the sure don't look like it. I'm very sad about that. They were really old, tall, beautiful trees. The canyon was a fun place to go to when you wanted to get into nature. I'm afraid that the canyon will never be the same. But, I'm hoping that maybe, that the canyon will spring back. Also, because the ground has been burned off, if it does rain, flash floods will probably buffet the town. Yet, I'm so grateful that the city was spared. 

Since the fire has moved northeast, and fires are still raging everywhere over the mountains, and other towns, the firefighters are starting a camp city in the park in Oak City. When we were up there, someone was hauling a bunch of outhouses around, and the park/town hall, was bustling with firefighters.

I'm posting some pictures I took yesterday, of the growing fire/smoke that was billowing over the mountain, and the path of destruction the fire made. 


They're not really pretty pictures, as burned ground looks more like the surface of the moon than anything. But when you consider  what could have happened, it is a helpful to reminder of  providence, and the goodness in human nature, (those that helped save the town) and how in times of disaster, the best of human nature sometimes surfaces. 


It's cloudy-ish today. So I'm hoping it rains and douses the other fires that are raging. Many homes in other towns and cities have been lost. So please pray for the firefighters, and those who have lost their homes. 


The fire burned all the way around the cemetery

Famous TV Hill (Sledding holdup for many people) Hold your breath, you are entering the valley of smoke. 

The fire moving northeast. Look at those thunderheads created from the heat.


You can see the pink fire retardant on the grass.

I'm not sure if that house is originally black?

Entering the city

Nice row of potties

Entering the town. The fire was on both sides of the roads. A little ways north is a large dairy. I have no idea how they saved it---as cow manure is highly flammable.

Looking west

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Burned power line

I have no idea how that old shed is still standing.

The famous rock.

TV hill

Smoke, and dust




Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Hi ya all, 

It's been a warm day. Actually it's been a warm month. A hot, dry, wind has been blowing for a few weeks, causing everything to become super dry, and flammable.

 There's been wildfires everywhere in the state where I live. It's been crazy. Today, a fire blazed up in a mountain not too many miles from where I live.  I watched it get bigger and bigger from my yard. My mom called my aunt who lives on the mountain where the fire was heading. She said they'd been issued an evacuation warning or something. We figured that they'd be okay, and the firemen would get it out. 

We watched the fire get bigger. We got worried, so we called my aunt again, but we couldn't get through. The cell phones weren't working. So we jumped in the truck and headed for the mountain. The regular way to get up to the mountain was blocked by policemen, so we went through a detour, into an area that had been previously burned by a different wildfire. It was crazy because the previous wildfire had burned down power-lines, so power lines were strung every which way. One power guy stood in the middle of the road holding up a line that had crossed the road, with a special stick, so that cars could pass. I felt bad for him, because holding that wire above his head looked like a tough job, especially in the heat. 

The closer we got into the town, the darker it got. The sun was blocked out by smoke, and a yellow haze enveloped us. It was kinda creepy. The smoke got so bad we put face masks on, and headed towards my aunt's house. 

My aunt was busy packing up some of her things, but she didn't really want us to take too much of her stuff. 

A mandatory evacuation had been issued, and everybody was supposed to get out of the town fast. We were worried that some of my aunt's old neighbors hadn't gotten the memo, so we (my sister, Bessie, and Laurie) ran down the street, banging on doors, and offering to help anybody who needed help packing.

 There were a couple old ladies who didn't know that they were supposed to leave. They looked rather irritated at us and we felt rather silly---being overly helpful.

 We went around the block knocking on doors---whence we found an old man who told us that he was not leaving. He said he was going to stay with his house. Luckily his grandchildren arrived, and took over from there. Here's hoping he got out.

 By that time the smoke was getting so bad that my eyes were watering, and my lungs were burning. We decided to head back to my aunt's house, and get going. My sister's friend drove up and stopped by the side of the road to talk to us. I guess her dad's a firefighter, and got burned, and sent up to a burn center up north. I hope he is okay!

Anyway, all in all, we made to my aunt's house, after being told three times by police officers to get out of town. We packed up a few of my aunt's items, and took off. By this time all the roads were blocked, and they weren't letting anybody into the city, only out.

Phew, it's been a busy day. The reports say that no houses have been harmed yet. The city has no power, and they're not letting anybody into the city for a while. I don't know who would want back in, it's so smoky. 
I'm hoping that the wind doesn't come back tomorrow. Tonight, the whole mountain is lit up like a Christmas tree, and everybody is all wound up from the dramatics of the day.  

The people who don't have places to stay are going to be spending the night in the church. The Red Cross is putting up beds, and everybody is being super helpful. I guess McDonald's supplied everybody staying at the church with supper---chicken nuggets. Yum. :)  

So that's my story. 
I thought I'd tell it to you. Maybe I'm over dramatic. And perhaps I am. The truth is, when disaster strikes, we all want to help. We all want to feel like we are doing something, even if it's knocking on doors. 

Ha, there's a little green lace-wing bug marching across my computer screen--actually there's three bugs. One big green one, and two little ones. I wonder if they like the static? lol

So back to my story. This fire got me to thinking. What would you take if your house was on fire? What three things come to mind?  If you only had a small window of time to grab three items, what would those three things be? 

What do you value most? 

When we were trying to be helpful packing up my aunt's stuff into the car, she kept on saying, "Leave it, it's only stuff.  People are what's important." 

That is very true. Stuff is stuff. Everything we own is just fluff. Fluff doesn't last. You can't take fluff with you when you die. Fluff doesn't make you who you are---I hope. 
Fluff is highly flammable as well. It can vanish into ashes in just a short amount of time.

What would you take? 

I know what I would take.  Do you?

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