Saturday, November 15, 2008

It Was Fire Day Again Today

Update: I finally got a note back from my rescue friend. She and her sister (sis is in Yorba Linda and she is in Anaheim Hills) are okay for now. Sis is sleeping at the grooming shop as clients are boarding their dogs there given they had no place else to go.

Unreal Day.

I get up early to go to work. I am done by 9:15, and in the car with my waterproof felt markers to head to the market to buy a foam board for the Irvine 'No on 8, Stop The H8" protest. I worked on some dandy sign sayings and was charged and ready to go! Yes!

I no sooner park the car (yes, in the same evacuation parking lot so notable in the previous post) and look north to see a small plume of smoke. I studied where it was (I know the topography here pretty well) and stood for a few minutes sizing up the wind direction and all those immeasurable things that our brain does when assessing a situation in the finites of a millisecond. It was blowing furiously. That part was bad. The wind was unstable as well. That part was bad.

I was simultaneously mulling through all the potentials for smoke and this wind given where I thought the fire was and how long it would take me to get home if things went wrong. This along with pondering how in the world I would hold my protest sign (basically an air foil!) against the wind if it was anywhere near as strong in Irvine as here.

I didn't firm any conclusions about the fire, but no matter about the sign. Get the board, make the sign, worry about that later. It was going to be a great day. I was totally charged!

I had loaded my digital camera and a few other things like water. I actually wore some lace-up shoes (tennis shoes) which just NEVER happens. I was in the mood to rock!

I bumped into several people in the store and we had a few fun chats. About 20 minutes later when I left, the exit doors of the store facing the smoke plume, I was absolutely aghast. The plume was probably twenty times the size and black. None of this was good.

I stood for a few minutes to see which way the smoke was blowing and how this would develop.

I figured the fire was about 4.5 miles away, on the other side of the Cleveland. I ran through the scenarios in my mind remembering the last fire which moved 3 miles in one hour.

In the meantime, another friend pulled in alongside me. As it turns out, she was headed there as well. We checked out the sky, talked about it, and both cancelled our plans. She lives about 1/2 mile (as the hawk flies) upcanyon from me. She got on her cell to call others, I returned home.

I again repack the car.

I have now surmised that the damn car will stay packed until the first heavy rains, if we ever get them.

While we are under flood watch during the rainy season for the next five years because of the fires (last year, friends that survived the fires lost their homes to floods; about 70% of the slopes here remain barren and are 70% slopes... the math is just awful, and so is the circumstance), floods cannot harm my home. They may trap me in my home, but I can manage that easily... I hope. If we work it right we have two possible exits and we all hope one of the two bridges will hold. I think one will.

Bottom line, it is the Corona-Yorba Linda fire which jumped the 91 about two hours or so ago. Because I don't have a TV, folks are sending me e-mails. So far so good.

I am so disappointed that I could not go to the protest. BUT, another friend did go and told me that there were at least 1,000 people there (this is the middle of Irvine which is hot red area for the most part) and that it was amazing. She is going to send pics. She had a lot to say about those that are straight and supporting the issue (she is a lesbian), and remains so proud that our particular community voted NO on 8. Yes we did. A little bit of blue in deep red.

So I hope to be posting her pics later as they come in.

I didn't cry today, by the way. And as someone commented on yesterday's long post, I probably do have PTSD. Incredibly, I never even thought of that. And I really don't know what I should be doing about that, either.

Pics coming when they arrive!

In the meantime, trying to reach my groomer and a shelter puller (her sister) both are threatened and I suspect my groomer has lost her home.

Please send prayers for all these folks. They surely will need it. This is a tragedy.

photos: OC Register