Thursday, July 18, 2013
I did not sleep last night. At every noise, I was up and out on the deck to see if the fire had topped the mountain ridge. But, it was hard to see where the fire actually was due to smoke being behind the mountains.
This view was looking west from the deck. It looked as if the wind had shifted and the fire had moved behind this mountain range.
First a spotter aircraft would pass over us then would be followed by a DC-10. They would circle their target once and then drop their flame retardant. This photo was taken mid day, but the smoke made it look like evening.
We were, most of the time, still wearing our wet bandannas to protect our lungs from the fine particulate ash that was coating everything.After we trimmed all the trees to six feet from the ground, we had to rake all the dead vegetation that would be classified as fuel, if the fire were to reach us. We later learned that the trimming should have been either eight or nine feet or one third the tree's height. I just do not remember right now.
If the fire were to reach us, the fire fighters would not attempt to save the cabin had we not cleared all brush, limbs, and dried vegetation. They want to save what is able to be saved and a cabin with low brush and limbs, around and touching the house is passed by to save a house/cabin that has been cleared properly.
I wish this were a better photo. This photo is supposed to show a black column of smoke and ash surrounded by thinner smoke. This mass then was reaching up into white clouds where ice crystals were forming.
If the cloud were to get too heavy, it would collapse bringing high winds, spreading the fire, ash and hail and creating a disaster like the fire in Yarnell, Arizona were the nineteen firefighters were killed.
When looking one direction the sky would be clear blue with fluffy white clouds. Then we turn around and look in the opposite direction and see the sun obscured by smoke.
Here are our views of the sun at midday.
During the briefing of fire officials, it was announced that 22,800 acres had burned thus far and only a fifteen percent containment.
Three thousand firefighters and support personnel were risking their lives at this point. The cost of this fire had reached Five and a half million dollars.
A few of the businesses remained open to aid the firefighters. A restaurant, the hardware store, the Village Market, and the gas and service station were all there to help.
Considering we were thinking that we would be there just overnight, we did not take but one change of clothes, food for twenty four hours, we all forgot a comb or hairbrush and our toothbrushes! What a lovely trio.
A voluntary evacuation was issued for Pine Cove, our area. Threats of ash and hot embers were something to be feared. The decision was made to remain at the cabin until Jojo and Cathie felt it was safe to leave.
One assignment I was given was to photograph everything inside and outside the cabin. If the fire struck, they would have a complete list of what was lost.
Another day of raking,tree trimming and photography was behind us. The sunset was a beautiful double-edged sword. The colors were outstanding, but what made the color was devastating.
The moon was red! Again, beautiful and devastating all wrapped in one package.
The shower water again washed black dust and soot from our bodies. Since we only had one set of clothing, I dropped my clothes into the bottom of the shower and played like I was Lucy stomping grapes. But I was not stomping grapes, I was making mud! I worked and worked to get my clothes clean, but they just kept bleeding black then gray water. But they were wearable Friday.
We went to bed wondering what Friday was to bring. I will blog that separately.
God bless! Especially the firefighters.