Yesterday was a strange day here in Heaven. Around noon I heard every fire engine in the proximate area roaring down my street. “Shit,” I thought. Some people would think, “Fire,” but… About an hour later the power was out and the water was turned off. My “fire brain” was on hyper alert, but I never said the word “Fire” to myself. Too scary. Then the cell towers were off. No updates on what was going on. That got, for me, very scary.
I remembered October 27, 2003, when my dogs and I were evacuated to a park in Pine Valley, CA because of a massive wildfire. That I spent a lot of time plopping quarters into a pay phone by the drive-in (ice cream, not movies) contacting friends to tell them I was OK and giving quarters to my friends any anyone else around there so they could do the same. I kept quarters in my car for parking meters, car washes, etc. back then.
The water came back on. The UPS guy came by and we agreed it was a very very very strange day. Everything seemed distorted and kind of unreal.
I took off in Bella to see if I could find “bars.” The traffic lights were out except one (???). Out by the Refuge it was business as usual for the hawks and sheep and horses and cattle. I needed to see that. Animals generally have a better clue to what’s going on that humans do.
I turned around and that’s when I saw the water-dropping-fire-fighting helicopter over my town. Because the wind was blowing away from my house, I hadn’t smelled fire or see smoke. That helicopter told me everything.
It’s desperately dry down here, the wind has been blowing like a MOFO and fires are easy to start. Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating the cause of the fire. It could have been anything. 17 acres burned, 30 homes are still evacuated out of 100. The firefighters did an amazing job.
This year people have been working hard to diminish fuel. I watched a guy mowing the field near his house — that’s usually grown over with brush — mowing his field with a push mower. Too small for a tractor, but too dangerous to leave alone. Sparks from trucks, cigarettes tossed out of windows, all kinds of thing. In Descanso I remember a grass fire started from a guy’s weed-eater and so, in high fire times, the word went out, “No weed eaters.” THAT fire was put out by two of my neighbors with wet gunny sacks.
Anyway, I’ve let my fire preparedness slide since I moved here. I will have to get that back together again. It might be a long summer… I mean, here it is April and I’m wearing shorts. No, you don’t have to visualize that.
You can read all about it here with videos… The news….