When getting dressed that morning, I thought about what was important to me. My daughter’s baby pictures, favorite jewelry, wedding pictures, clothes and shoes. Of course, I was going to drive my old beat up car, the ones the dogs ride in, because the newer one was covered with comprehensive insurance.
What would you take from your home if you knew it was going to burn to the ground?
It’s a tough call. One no one wants to make. The fire had begun with a camping stove that a careless camper had on a table. The wind blew it off of the table’s edge. He tried to stomp it out but it quickly went out of control. There was no cell-phone use at his campsite. Instead of calling someone as he drove down the canyon, he waited until he got home. He had passed several homes and even a payphone along the way. By then, the fire had spread to well over 50 acres. It began Monday the 14th. Extra firefighters weren’t called in until it grew to over 1,000 acres.
All of our neighbors were evacuated and we were next. The fire raged 2 miles from our home Weds. morning. It had grown over 4,000 acres overnight and had reached the unbelievable raging size of over 7500 acres in four days.
After work, we drove home with our yellow Labradors in tow. Afraid of what we’d see, we were quiet driving up the driveway. The smoke covered our place like a thick smog. Ashes flew through the air. I gulped and gagged trying to breathe.
We quickly went inside where we had left all windows closed. The smell of the smoke was present as we live in a log home with chinking and wind gets through. My lungs hurt, my eyes were bloodshot. I didn’t sleep well and kept getting up to check the news and the Google comments on the fire.
Then, the rain came. For two days it poured. The fire was over 50% contained. Our lives were brushed with uncertainty, fear, and the urgency to evaluate what is important to us. We have horses and there are over 500 cows on the land next to us. What would’ve happened? If life throws you this type curve ball, what thoughts come to mind?
When we live among such beauty, are we more susceptible to turmoil?