Its been quite awhile since I’ve posted. Yet again, everything I was doing, got interrupted. In case you didn’t hear, we had a bit of a major fire here in the North Bay area of California.
On Monday, October 9, my Mom called us at 3:00 a.m. to say there was a fire nearby and she thought that maybe she should leave. Having no clue what was actually going on, Husband and I woke up the kids, decided to take two trucks so my Mom could take whatever she wanted from her house, and headed over.
We turned on the radio as we drove to her house and began to get a first inkling of the disaster which was unfolding. When we arrived at her house, the magnitude of the fires became clear.
That’s a photo I took from her front porch. The neighborhood approximately 5 blocks from her house would wind up being leveled. The explosions we kept hearing were propane tanks exploding.
In the face of that, I took my Mom through her house, room by room, to choose what to take. She would point to an item and one of our kids would take it and put it in a truck. Everyone was calm and efficient.
We could hear the fire getting closer so it was time to leave. After a brief discussion of how best to get out of the neighborhood, we jumped in our cars and joined the line of people streaming out.
It was really smokey! I have to say though, everyone was polite, patient, helpful and scared.
We did make it out safely. Our house was never threatened. My Mom’s house thankfully was unharmed. We spent the next few days watching the disaster grow.
At this point, things are beginning to return to some sort of normal. The fires are nearing containment; mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted; roads are re-opening; many schools are back in session.
The statistics from our county are staggering: 1 in 10 people in the county were evacuated at some point in time. Upwards of 2,800 residences destroyed, as well as businesses, schools, wineries, hotels and a few iconic landmark buildings. Two of our three hospitals were evacuated (one of those two has reopened.) I believe the death toll currently stands at 23.
We were one of the lucky ones. Our direct impact was limited to having my Mom with us for a week and taking in our friends’ two dogs. My kids were out of school for awhile – my high schooler went back Tuesday; my middle schooler should go back Monday. My work is still closed.
There are many, many who have suffered devastating impacts. My heart goes out to all of them.