Monday, August 31, 2009
This is how our mountains look from my neighborhood. A few of my neighbors and I walked two blocks up this evening to see how bad the flames looked from another perspective. Wow. This view is from a distance of ten blocks, which is still too close for comfort. They have evacuated the streets above this point; however, not everyone has left. We got an emergency mandatory evacuation order this morning at 2:15 a.m. We talked to the sheriff's officer and asked if we had to leave and he said no; we should do what we felt we had to do. We stayed (we are in no immediate danger). I'm not so sure about later tonight or early in the morning. Things can change so quickly, as we have all learned over these past 5 days and counting. My neighbors and I are going to go take another look in a bit to see how far it has progressed. This fire is massive and it shows no signs of ending any time soon. There is so much fuel that hasn't burned since 1976 and it is tinder dry from years of drought. Wouldn't you know that this would be the year that El Nino is supposed to show up. You know what comes next - mudslides.
I feel so emotional about all this and am close to tears this evening. One of my favorite places is on fire - the wilderness park that has brought so much beauty and joy to my life. My cousin and I loved to hike here. I also can't help thinking about all the wildlife; it absolutely breaks my heart. I know that people and houses are the first priority, of course, but this is their home too.
Mt. Wilson, along with countless other communities that cover something like 134 square miles, are in danger or have been burned. They say it will be September 15th before it will be under control - that's two weeks away. My heart goes out to everyone who is anxiously watching and waiting to see what this monster fire is going to do next.