an update from Scot
I'm doing a whole lot better today. Its been somewhat overcast today so the temps have been a bit lower. Our high was only 95 today. Its so smokey all over town that it looks like we're having a foggy day.
Yesterday Mother Nature gave us the finger. She hit us with a thunderstorm but didn't give us any rain. Just thunder and a horribly timed wind. Gusts up to 65 miles per hour. The fire went from 5300 acres to 15,000 acres in about 4 hours. 32,500 people have been evacuated. A new word has been added to our lexicon, pre-evacuation. It means pack up what you think you want to take with you, you may have to leave soon. People were told to pre-evacuate, then evacuate. All in about 45 minutes. The fire raced over a ridge so quickly it took everybody by suprise. A major 6 lane street was turned into a one way escape route out of a very nice area of town. Posh ain't posh when its burning! The fire moved north and southwest at the other end. Small mountain towns were pre-evacuated. Today they were under mandatory evacuation. The southern edge is headed their way.
When the wind shifted it blew the smoke all over town. From the downtown area to the north end of town you could barely see more than 4 or 5 blocks away. It was really creepy and like looking thru orange sunglasses.. Wind widened the fire area exponentially. I'm not exaggerating when I say thousands of people had to be evacuated very quickly. A big chunk of town never even got the pre-evacuation reverse 911 calls. My friend Pat got out of her house with the clothing on her back, her laptop and her cat. The fire department chief said the fire "moved astronomically fast..." Nobody is even guessing how many homes were destroyed.
Yesterday I was helping my friend John pack up and move out. He's a pre-evacuee, of refugee as I call him. Seven of us were berating him for packing his Tupperware. Actually, it wasn't even Tupperware, it was Rubbermaid, old Rubbermaid. "Christ dude! You've got a nice house, fully insured. Let it melt and buy new."
There's a jewelry store here downtown that sends all of their engraving to the shop I work in. The owners are a really nice, wealthy older couple. They're always extremely well dressed and well taken care of. Yesterday Janice came into the shop with some baby cups to be engraved. She is usually the epitome of sophistication. Yesterday she looked horrible. She looked like she'd been wearing the same clothes for two or three days, her hair was a mess, she had no jewelry on! I found out, today, that they had been evacuated fron their home here in the city on Monday and decided to go to their cabin, outside of one of the many little mountain towns in the surrounding area. Yesterday they were evacuated from that home. And yesterday, they both burned down. How sad huh? Luckly, they have a condo here in town they have been trying to sell. Must be nice...
One of my personel axioms is Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think. So I have to add this. When Janice was standing at the counter in the shop I reached for one of the baby cups she was showing me and my watch band broke and my watch fell onto the counter. We both laughed and she said "you've really need to stop buying Walmart watchbands. [an inside joke]"
I reminded her that she personally had sold me the watchband a few years ago and she picked up my watch and put it in her purse. "You'll get this back tomorrow, when I pick up my baby cups." Today Don and I went to her shop to deliver her cups and take them a coffee maker I knew they needed. [I had a spare, don't ask!] She didn't charge me for my new watchband and tried to pay me for a coffee maker. You do what you can right?
The Air Force Academy has been evacuated and I've heard President Obama will be here on Friday. The FBI will be investigating the cause of the fire.
For some reason we've moved to the front of the line and are considered a top priority disaster. Yay!
The lunatic fringe has added their 2 cents worth. AlQuidea (sp?) is responsible or it's happening because of Gay Pride Month! My favorite is The Flying Spagetti Monster is pissed off at all the judgemental Uber-Christians. Really? Don't these people have anything better to do?!?
Frankly, I'm blameing the birds. This is their way of getting me to refill my bird feeder EVERY F-ing DAY!
UPDATE...The TV news is saying that the newspaper is reporting that 300 houses have been destroyed so far. That is totally unconfirmed.
I'll keep you posted,