I really do think that California is a great place to live, but for every wonderful thing about it, there are a few hazards too. Earthquakes, mudslides and the fires, and those are just some of the natural ones.
Thank God for the thousands of great firefighters that have worked tirelessly so save what they can. I know that they saved our home on Monday for a start.
According to the reports on TV Sunday evening, one of the fires several miles away had hopped many ridges among the hills and canyons because of the crazy winds, and the reports started mentioning evacuations and roads I knew to be in our neighborhood.
The "Agua Dulce" fire (which started very close to my sister Terri's place Sunday) - moved several miles and became the "Canyon Country", aka the "Buckweed" fire. The "Buckweed" fire now bordered on Saugus (our community) and came within about 1/4 mile of our house, as the crow flies.
We have a mountain (okay, it's a really big hill) right behind our house, and I was getting curious about how close the danger was getting to us.
So Sunday evening, I decided to climb to the top just before dark to check it out for myself.
WARNING: If you ever decide to climb anything during 70mph gusts of wind, you're stupid.I'm stupid.
After almost getting blown off the hill several times as if I had the mass of a sheet of paper, I finally made it to the top and had a terrific view of the flames, that were at this point within a half mile from us. I tried to get some phone-camera pictures, but they don't do it justice.
Here's the fire just two ridges away:
This is the view from the opposite direction at the same time. This is of the "Castaic" or "Ranch" fire about 6 miles away, and on Monday, the fire crews feared these two merging. We were one block from being evacuated. (many of our friends were evacuated though)
By late Monday - early Tuesday, it was looking much better in our immediate area, thanks to the fire crews. This is a picture I took a couple days later. It's hard to tell, but the dot between the trees is the sun, and because of the stuff in the air, it was glowing a nice apocalyptic RED.
I have decided that if we are to remain California residents, we will buy one of these converted DC-10's and keep it in our garage in case the winds bring fire with them again next time.
Please keep in prayer, the 1500+ families who have lost lives, homes and businesses this week, and pray for the safety of all those fighting the fires. It's still not over.
Here is an extremely detailed map of each fire including the amount of
firefighters used, containment, acres burned and date and time. Click on the "Buckweed" fire if you want to see what went on in our immediate area.
Go to Google Maps