Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not Again!

It was deja vu. My sister and her boyfriend and I were sitting around, planning a movie to make, when there's a call from my brother that he saw a plume of smoke and CDF trucks racing up the road. We turned on the scanner. There was a blaze about 5 miles away. Within minutes we could see the smoke peeking out from behind the South Ridge Mountain behind our house.

View from the barn

We went swimming to distract ourselves since all you can do in a situation like this is wait. I'd already packed up several old home movies and pictures, just in case. The fear and the drill was all too familiar since it's been less than three weeks since the fire that we almost had to evacuate from and the big fire that charred much of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Yet the smoke kept growing. Evacuations were being ordered for thousands near the vicinity. Unfortunately, the fire is in a hard to access area -- an ecological preserve bordered by houses. The local high school is being used as a shelter for evacuees. That should make for an interesting last day of school tomorrow!

I grabbed my camera and decided to hike the mountain behind our house to get a better view. As I reached the top it was a scary sight.

I was selfishly comforted, however, when I was greeted with the view of a ridge separating the fire from our valley. Intellectually I knew the distance of the fire, but it was comforting to actually see it.

Well, comforting and horrifying. My family and I were hopefully not have to evacuate from this fire, and the winds seem to be blowing it more towards the coast, yet horrifying that it looks like a volcano erupting just a ridge away, and that there are thousands of people up there. My heart cries out for you. The fear is torturous.

A chopper to the rescue

The chopper's smallness gives you an idea of the scale of the smoke

Like a volcano

A tanker plane is on it's way towards smoke that looks like an angry old man

Smoke stretching towards the coast

We had an unusually dry spring which has left the land parched. Perfect fuel for a blaze.

Firefighters are calling this an ominous start to the summer. We've already had the biggest fire in the mountains in a century, and now here's another. Yesterday there were two small ones. I don't know how much more of this I can take! The earth seems determined to burn.

A tanker plane on it's way to help

Though I did notice a change in my priorities this go around. I saw the leftover chocolate frosting from the cake I made yesterday and actually considered trying to take it with me. ;) I wound up eating it after dinner as a celebration of not being burned up yet!

hammy - Thank you for your comment! That's great to hear that you enjoy our films -- it always makes it worth it to hear a comment like that. Yes please, send some rain from the Isles our way and I'll send some dry heat yours! And I'm glad you enjoy the tales of my "adventures." :) There are always moments where I go "why am I writing this out for strangers?" so it's always nice to hear that they're somewhat interesting. ;)

mo - If only you'd been there when I made the cake. ;) At least it will still taste fine! Jaysus -- an entire district was on fire? Oh my gosh...

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