Monday, August 31, 2009

Super Far & Super Close

Growing up in California, wild fires are as predictable as the droughts that fuel them. But rarely do they hit as close to home as this weekend's fire did. The Mushroom Cloud perspective was taken from our perfectly peaceful walk in Venice on Saturday and the other pics were shot by Michael's dad on the front lines of the La Canada Fire! The House in the orange glow of the second image is the house Michael grew up in. Read what his dad wrote...

"The Station Fire originated less than a mile from our house (near an Angeles Crest forestry station) on Wednesday and we began to gather things that night. The mountains of La Canada were on fire By Thursday and choppers and bombers were a constant sight overhead. By nightfall the fire had reached the other side of our east ridge with a bright orange glow that lasted throughout the night. My son, one of his friends, Pat and I collected and packed in earnest. The fire worsened and by Friday night the fire had leaped over the ridge to the East and was coming towards us. The four of us packed more and loaded three cars to the hilt. Saturday morning at 2:40 a.m. we received a mandatory evacuation call (four separate times) and disconnected all of the computer systems and loaded them into the last spaces available. Pat left at 4:30 am and ended up at Starbucks. We stayed around until noon as the fire was extremely slow in its descent towards our street. No fire apparatus or personnel were to be seen anywhere and the choppers were fighting a greater danger taking place a few blocks to the East. As the fire attacked a tree at the end of our street a half block north, four "hot shot" crews appeared and headed into the mountain. Then a fire truck from San Roman Valley suddenly appeared and began pumping fire retardant into the face of the fire which was heading below the street to the canyon floor. After a half hour we evacuated and ended up waiting for the return announcement which was supposed to occur at about 9 pm Saturday night. Unfortunately, the fire serpentined around the backside of the ridge directly north of us during the afternoon and came to within about a hundred yards of our home at the bottom of the canyon where fire teams stopped it somehow. We were turned back near our home watching the fire as it was directly about our house and ended up at the Westin Hotel after calling a few people who had offered to let us stay with them but no one was home. On Sunday afternoon we were allowed to return home as the fire had already spread the day before and was attacking La Crescenta and Altadena."

*That's Michael's bedroom that he grew up in - top left corner of the house.

No comments:

Post a Comment