It’s been surreal here. At times I’ve been calm enough, the denial of the risk in simply being here strong enough and then once the conditions change, better very locally, but so bad not so distantly, that patina of calm cracks wide.
I live in the wine country of Northern California. It dawned on me half an hour ago many who follow me know I live here & just as likely know about the wildfires rampant here.
For those who don’t, Monday night there were abnormally high and bone dry winds which sparked fires in multiple locations almost spontaneously. We’re near the end of the long dry season so there is much fodder for fire. While it’s not yet determined, fallen power lines seem a real possibility, if not likelihood. Within hours one had spread into heavily populated areas of Santa Rosa; within 24 hours it destroyed almost 3000 homes.
Locally a blaze began on the other side of the page from us. It was pretty much restricted successfully to a peninsula that’s juts into the lake. Folks got evacuated in the middle of th night from the north end of the city of Clearlake. We took a family we knew in, a young couple and their 3 year old. The following morning when we awoke there was so much smoke that we could not see the lake. I have lakefront property. Well, the local fire got contained & they were able to return home after 3 days.
Meanwhile things almost everywhere else is having less success than we. The
Fires have spread dramatically and two of the better exits from this county drop right into areas already facing mandatory evacuation. In short, not an option. That realization truly shook me.
While there is no need to evacuate now I feel pressed to be ready. There is now 2 weeks of clothing in the boot of my car, small valuables and sentimentals I am unwilling to lose, & necessities like the computer. It’s sobering walking through your home an asking yourself what comes with you. Mañana I’ll put some dog food & a bowl for him. Mandatory winnowing. It’s a valuable exercise and not unexpectedly a painful one. After packing I spent the bulk of my day expanding the defensible space around the house and garage.
As I write, strong winds are forecast to strike the area tonight and tomorrow. Fingers crossed tightly this is not a repeat of Monday.