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Fire! Fire!

The final tally from the Bonny Doon fire:

Number of acres burned: 7100
Number of houses burned: 0
Number of outbuildings burned: 2
Number of pot farms burned: 0 (officially)
Number of people evacuated: 2400
Number of horses evacuated: several dozen
Number of firefighters brought in: 2400
Fire engines: 300
Helicopters: 10
Tanker planes: 6
Bulldozers: 40
Governor visits: 1
Time till smoke clears, in months: 2

I knew things were getting out of hand last Thursday morning when, on my trip over 17, dozens of fire engines of all types and colors from all over Northern California were headed south en masse. The fire had started the night before and was already over 1000 acres.

This is that morning, about 12 hours after the fire started. This was taken from Scott's Valley:





[livejournal.com profile] colletteshorses  and I were not evacuated, but I took Friday off and we hitched up the truck and trailer and spent the day making other preparations. Surprisingly, the smoke wasn't as bad for us as it was in Santa Cruz. While the fire was about 6 or 7 miles west of us, the winds were blowing largely to the south and thus all the smoke and ash were going to Monterey Bay. From there it was blown inland, so Santa Cruz, Watsonville, and the Monterey Historics auto festival were socked in by smoke.

The newspapers did a good job keeping things updated. One article, however, outed the location of the WAMM pot garden, which was spared by the fire. You'd think they would either (a) keep a lid on the location or (b) tell the world "oh, yes, the entire garden was destroyed. Total loss. Nothing to see here. Move along." The county and the state leave WAMM alone, but the feds are probably making use of this information.

Oh, and Boomeria came through unscathed.

The danger has passed now, but the smoke will linger around for months. There is still a lot of acreage burning - it is "contained", not "extinguished" - and even once it's all out, it will smolder. Then there is all the ash everywhere.

At this point, some days are smokier than others. Sometimes you can't help but notice the smell, other days it's just hazy. I really am looking forward to the first rain of the season this fall. Even this morning there was a convoy of fire trucks from El Dorado county making their way up Mt. Hermon road, so there is still plenty of work to be done before it's fully out.

Big mess, big effort, big news, big inconvenience, but relatively little overall damage. Word is that the cause is thought to be a hawk which hit some power lines.

[livejournal.com profile] colletteshorses  and I have been working out a fire plan in more detail now. It's time to get a gas-powered pump and hose so that the 10,000 gallons of water in the pool can be useful. There are fire-retardant gels to cover the house which we may obtain, and I've planned on installing a sprinkler system on the roofs of the house and the outbuildings. Preparation never hurts.

Date: 2009-08-21 06:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] klwilliams.livejournal.com
I'm glad you guys are OK.

Date: 2009-08-21 07:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kahnegabs.livejournal.com
I've been thinking about you and hoping you were doing OK. Glad it's over now.

Date: 2009-08-21 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helblonde.livejournal.com
I'm glad you and the beasties are okay.

I think it's interesting that they brought in as many people to fight the fire as they evacuated. It's the same number of people in harm's way, but these are more experienced.

Date: 2009-08-22 04:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dame-cordelia.livejournal.com
I'm really glad that you and yours came through the fire unscathed.

Date: 2009-08-23 12:41 am (UTC)
ext_143250: 1911 Mystery lady (Default)
From: [identity profile] xrian.livejournal.com
I always worry about anyone over in your area, because my impression is that the highway routes out of trouble are very limited. Good on you for making plans.

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