Sunday, August 30, 2009


As much as I would like to be doing this-

even if it included a little drooling, it is just not happening!

This fire is bigger and more relentless than I ever anticipated.

It has now grown to 45,000 acres and they are expecting it to grow to 100,000 acres by morning.

For the past three nights we have stayed up watching the fire, waiting for a knock at the door, telling us to evacuate. We have been in a constant state of being ready to go at a moments notice. I appear very calm on the outside. It is just my personality. But I have noticed that there is a thread of stress that no amount of calmness can eradicate when you are watching the hills behind your home burn. Three days straight of it has taken its toll.
Three days of-
breathing smoke and ash filled air.

watching people I know interviewed on TV.

the sound of helicopters flying over the house.

wondering, watching, researching, talking.

packing, searching, trying to remember everything that Iwould hate to lose.

being thankful for these men and women serving us.

praying and taking a lot of pictures.

letting little boys play inside all day due to smoke.

It seems that every afternoon we think everything looks like it is going to be okay. Then night falls, the smoke rolls in and the flames make decisions of their own. As I speak, there are flames marching their way down the mountain directly behind us. The street above us has been evacuated.

You are probably thinking,"I would have left by now." Yes, that is what I would have said before too. Please know that we are not being stupid and we have great repect for the power of this fire. We trust these amazing fire fighters. If there were any wind in the forecast, we would be out of here. Because there is no wind, the fire marches slowly.

My sister's house was saved today. This morning it made its way to her street and they stopped it at her neighbor's yard. The fireman on scene called in the helicopters and they dumped water on it. My brother-in -law (he now needs a blog name) stayed for the whole thing. He said it was one of the most amazing things he has ever seen.

She lives across a canyon from us and I believe this is a picture of the chopper dropping water on her fire.

These guys ROCK!
I wish I could meet these pilots and thank them and tell them that-
they ROCK!

The firefighters can't really get up into the steep terrain to fight the fire, so the helicopters have done drop after drop all day long- NONSTOP. They ground crews wait for the fire to reach the edges of the homes and then they put it out. It is amazing! But nervewracking for homeowners.

We drove around today and there are Fire Fighters from the forest service here from Montana and South Dakota and I'm sure other states. Those are the ones that I happened to see. There are also police and fire departments from cities all over the state of California. I want to stop them all and thank them for coming to help us.

Our community feels loved and cared for by the whole country. I know it is their job, but still...

These men put their lives on the line and are so courageous. This evening we had some very bad news. Two firefighters were killed. From the reporting, I believe they were trying to drive out of a canyon and the fire came up quickly. The smoke was so thick that they could not see. They drove off the side of the road and the car went down the cliff. Just horrible.

This fire is humbling. Again, I'm reminded that as much as I like to feel that I have some control, it is really so minimal. I have lived on these mountains my entire life. These are my friends being interviewed. This is my sister being evacuated. This is my community!

And do you know what? Even if every single structure in this community burned to the ground, if the people all survived, this community would still be here.

It's almost Monday now so I better post it now.


Kelly said...

So scary!! You all are in my prayers. Thanks for all the updates and pictures. Take care!

Leslee said...

Oh my! Such wonderful news for your Sister & Brother-in-Law...

We continue to pray for you all in SoCal and now will included our neighbors closer in Auburn!

Fire is so destructful -

I hear what a strong woman you are, although scared straight on the inside. Your kids will benefit from your strength as you keep them calm.

Times are tough, but this will pass. Stay strong!

Helen McGinn said...

Oh my gosh, hon, I'm so sorry! This is really terrible. I know I'm far away but if there is anything I can do...anything...please say the word and it will be done. Thinking of you all and I'm going to go check the news reports to see what is happening. Post soon with an update, if you can.
Helen xx

Farmgirl Paints said...

I don't know what I would do in your situation. If I would stay or leave. I can't imagine having to make those choices.

So grateful those hardworking firemen are doing their best to protect you. They have one of the most dangerous jobs ever. I'm lifting them up in prayer now as well as your family.

Foursons said...

I love your point of view. No one can tell us what is going on and how it feels to be in that situation better than someone who is living it.

You are doing a great job and I actually understand staying home. We live in a town that floods. And people don't leave their homes built on the river just because a flood is threatening. I'm sure it's the same mind-frame, only you are dealing with fire and not water.

Stay safe and keep us updated!

Kathleen said...

I have been thinking of you all weekend and keep checking your blog and other Glendale friends updates on FB to see how things are going. I pray the fire is stopped before it gets to your house and that every one in your community soon gets some rest! We had our own evacuation call yesterday for fire, but were fine, but do know some people that lost homes or businesses. Terrible. Thanks for keeping us all posted!

New England Girl said...

Keeping you and your family, as well as your community and all those who are trying to help, in my daily prayers. Please stay safe!!!

Donna said...

Been thinking about you and wondering how you all were doing. That's wonderful news about your sister's house. God Bless and protect the wonderful firemen!

We were in the bad fires in San Diego 6 years ago. I remember how frightening it was- we spent days with the cars packed, ready to leave. I know it sounds impossible right now, but try to rest and take care of yourself. You don't know what reserves you will need in the near future.

Keep us posted.

Roo and Wren's Mama said...

I just found your blog the other day (via MckMama or Kelly's Korner, don't remember), and have been glued to your fire reports... so scary! We live in Japan now(married to a Marine!), so I don't see a lot of up-to-the-minute US news - but I hope things have taken a turn for the better. God is bigger than a fire, and nothing is outside His control!
Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering how everything is going today?? I hope you all are staying safe!

Helen McGinn said...

Are you all ok??

Sande said...

Your fire and the loss of the two men made the local Australian news.

Really looking forward to what amazing perspective and wisdom is produced in you through all this.