Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fire and Smoke and Ash! Oh My!

Yesterday around 2 I realized the light in my living room had an orange hue. I knew what that meant--fire. That’s when I started to smell smoke. So I went out to the end of my driveway and this is what I saw:

We’re smack in the middle of Brea/Anaheim Hills/Yorba Linda, then being called the Freeway Complex fire. Last night Carbon Canyon was added and this morning Chino Hills and Diamond Bar came into the mix and now it’s called the Triangle Complex fire. I don’t think we’ve ever been this close to a fire this big. We’ve seen fire in the hills in Yorba Linda but the problem with this weekend’s fire was the Santa Ana winds kicking up. The Brea fire is about 2 miles from us, which seems like a safe distance I suppose but the fire crossed a freeway in Yorba Linda! For those of you not familiar with freeways in Cali, the 91 probably has at least 8 lanes where the fire jumped it. So 2 miles away doesn’t seem that far in view of Mother Nature’s leaping ability!

The Husband came home from work early when I texted him the picture above. We made a list of things we’d grab in case of evacuation (cats topped the list, plus a couple of The Husbands’ guitars and all my finished jewelry, and of course essentials like prescription drugs and cat food). Then we tried to relax. At 11PM, we walked outside to see if we could see any flames on the hills around us. No flames but the moon was as orange as a pumpkin. We kept the TV on through the night and this morning the color of the sky was normal, although there’s still plenty of dark smoke in part of the sky and the air quality is very bad--smoke and black ash as big as moths. I feel for folks with asthma and allergies. Here’s what our street and car looks like this morning:

Piles of ash, like autumn leaves.

Accumulated ash on the windshield of our van.

So, it seems that the worst is over. The winds have died down and the firefighters, God bless ‘em, seem to have more control over the situation. I know people in Yorba Linda, Chino Hills, Anaheim Hills and Diamond Bar and I’ve been praying that everyone’s ok. Hopefully, no one lost houses but I’ll find out at work tomorrow. We’re a generous group--if anyone needs help, we’ll contribute. When Hurricane Andrew hit our group in Miami, we all sent gift certificates to retail stores that were divided among the folks who needed them to build their households again. Hopefully, that won’t be necessary but we’ll see!

1 comment:

Art By MAR said...

Oh Bear Chick that is SO scary. I am thankful that you (& your house) are okay. The ash is amazing. I hope all these terrible fires go away quickly. And yes, bless the brave fire fighters who battle them.