14 May 2014

Fire Update

Everything's going ok this morning. Although there are supposed to be very high temperatures and high winds again today, they still have fire fighters working on getting the fire out all the way. Around 8:00 last night we found out that the evacuations in the area were all officially lifted (and we had been back at home already for a little while by that time). 

Everyone at our house is a little tired (we didn't get around to dinner until about 8pm last night), but other than that everyone seems just fine. Fortunately, even though parts of the evacuation were stressful, I never actually felt scared for our safety or that our house would burn down, so that helped. It was kind of hard for Michael to wait to get any updates in between seeing each patient at work throughout the afternoon and not knowing what was going on at all times, but it ended up being just fine and I'm glad he didn't end up needing to take time off work. 

The news report said that 850 acres have burned so far, and someone in the neighborhood talked to a firefighter this morning who said that the total fire is 25% contained (which is better than the 5% number that they are still reporting on the news). The remaining hot spots and smoke aren't near our neighborhood, although the news article I read this morning said the fire fighters will be churning up the blackened dirt and watering it down to protect from the possibility of embers under the surface being picked up by these high winds and carried to other brush that hasn't yet burned. I'm interested to go take a look at the damage closest to our neighborhood, but I may wait a day or so -- at least until there aren't any firefighters actively working, because we don't want to get in their way. One good thing about a brush fire is that once the brush is cleared away there is not as much fuel in those spots anymore for more fires in the near future. They said this is the biggest fire in San Diego county since the really big fires that were going on around my parents' neighborhood and the nearby Westwood neighborhood in 2007 when Isaac was born (but this fire is nothing compared to the 2007 fire -- I heard that one burned 200,000 acres and I know it burned down numerous houses), so we are really very blessed that no one got hurt and that the firefighters were able to save all the houses in this fire. 

Now I have a few extra things to add to my "to do" list:
*take some more thorough photographs of certain parts of our house (like inside storage bins in the garage or the last of the remaining boxes from the move up in our bedroom) for insurance purposes now that I've got a little more time 
*digitize all the journals, genealogy, and any remaining family photos that I haven't yet scanned (because if it had been a real emergency and I had felt that our home was actually in danger of being list and we had to get out immediately, I would only have had time to get the kids, the dogs, and grab the computer and backup drives -- there would not have been time to run back and forth to the car collecting up albums and books)
*organize the bookshelves in the downstairs closet so all those albums, journals, and family history books that would be impossible to replace are on the same shelves
*get an extra cell phone charger cord to keep in the car
*and I was very glad I had a full tank of gas in the van when this happened, so it would probably be wise to keep that in mind and not allow the gas tank to get so low between fill-ups. 

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