Last Sunday morning the same pine trees, this time, however, they are bent by the gusty wind going 60 to 70 miles per hour. It was a windy day...very windy.
My husband and I went out that morning and we ended having lunch at the mall. After lunch we walked around the shops to get rid of some of that food we just had. We went around the mall twice. It was so windy outside it was much better to do a bit of walking in the confines of the mall. By perhaps 2:00 pm or a little past that hour we called it a day and we headed home.
As we stepped out of the mall we saw smoke billowing in the sky, and it was coming from the direction of our house, about 6 miles away or 5 - 8 minutes drive. We got in the car and took the road with less traffic. We both were tense, thinking of our house out there, near the fire or in flames already.The most dreadful sight one could ever see. My home is in that direction where the smoke is coming from.
When we got close to the street where we have to take a right turn we were told by the sheriff we could not go through. The street was blocked. What the #*$q%&g8. We turned back and took the other main road, which made our travel longer. As we drove up to our place we found that the fire was farther from our place. We breathed a sigh of relief, we felt safe. Some of the trees were felled by the gusty winds.
About maybe an hour passed the fire was still on. Later on, the place darken, it's like it's early evening already. I kept looking out the window. The sun was obscured by the thick dark smoke.
Without the thick smoke it would be impossible to get a good shot of the sun. It was red-orangey in color. Here it looks more like the moon surrounded by reddish clouds.
By early evening the fire got this close. The brick fence on the lower left hand corner of the picture is my fence. The fire is on a hill just down my street. By this time, we have loaded our cars with clothes, documents, my camera, spare shoes and whatever I could grab. A little later on I remembered my photo albums. I went back in the house and grabbed all of them and dumped them in my car. I have a comforter and my purse in my car, the documents in my husband's car and he grabbed some snacks - biscuits and whatever - and some bottled water.
We were ready to evacuate. All our neighbors nearby have also carted stuff to their cars. The guy across the street have them all in luggage...fancy guy. LOL I just dumped everything in my trunk, no time for organizing or primming. I had my jacket on, as the wind is making me cold and nervous. We talked to the lady across the street. Her husband could not get through the barricaded streets. She was loading her car, as well, and she looked very nervous. We offered our help in case she needed a hand.
Later on a helicopter came over and assessed the fire on the hill. Then another helicopter came and doused the fire. The guy across the street applauded. He was so happy, as all of us are for the help that came. Soon another helicopter came and poured more water. A few minutes later there were just embers left on the hill and soon they died down. We were all relieved. Not one of my neighbors nearby left, we all stayed put.
I warmed left overs and my husband and I had dinner. We stayed up some more and watched TV to see how the fire is going on. There were still flare ups farther down the road.
The next day (Monday) our area was quiet. There were some smoke farther away, but we were out of danger. All schools - kindergarten to college - were closed for the day. My husband went down the hill to take a look at what was left by the fire. Coming back up he drove the back street and found 3 houses burned.
The wind was still gusty, and the fire had gone farther to another part of the city. Farther down south in the Foothills, in San Diego and in other areas, the fire was still raging. Hundreds of people evacuated and hundreds of homes burned to the ground.
I feel for the people who lost their homes; I applaud the firemen who put their lives on the line to save homes and people; for the heroic effort of others who volunteer at the evacuation center; and others who help in any way they can. And, I pray for the lives lost in this catastrophe.
The weather prediction is much better the rest of the week, and a little rain is expected. This will be a welcome sight...a relief to all.
More on the fire here.
The wind has stirred the ground and my allergy has flared up. My eyes are itchy, my nose is runny and I have a terrible headache. The medication I took didn't work at all. It must be that cheap one I bought. LOL