Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Safe, ready and rattled

We are safe for another day! Thanks for the thoughts, prayers and concern.

This picture is from the TV obviously, but it's what we had to look at before we tried to get some kind of rest/sleep:

This is right after the winds shifted south and ash the size of my hand was landing. I had the yard and bushes over-watered but with spot fires popping up south of the containment line it wouldn't have helped unless something landed in our property. The fire pushed so hard and fast with 65 mph winds, it can cover miles in minutes with flare up fire and then the slow burn from what it skipped over.
This morning the wind is calm but blowing away from us when it does blow.

We loaded a lot of stuff in the vehicles and had our rally point set. The in-laws were ready, my neighbor friend was ready, it was all up to us to make the call on evac. It makes for a long night when all you can do is smell the fire and watch the news knowing people you love and care about are depending on you to make the call.

Checked in this morning with some friends. They helped load some things for a couple they know and while this was happening the couples kid watched his house burn down. It's sad and it's easy to say it's only stuff, especially when it's not yours, but if our place burnt down I would still say it's only stuff. The evac figures are more accurately around 40,000, hopefully everyone is at least stable working towards acceptance, it doesn't help to get angry or upset.

Changes we made last night:
Adding more camping gear; apparently we would have more people with us than planned
Fresh pictures; the entire property, vehicles and belongings; just in case the insurance company doesn't believe us its good to have time/date stamps.
More clothing; I'm fine with shorts and tshirts so I added a few more, get home bag has pants and such in it already
Gate block; we parked my company car in front of our main gate, I don't want to be blocked in by someone else, people simply can't think in a crisis. This was evident watching people evacuate on the news as they stopped to take pictures, had their feet on the dashboard, drove around police barricades, etc. Seriously, stopping in the middle of the interstate in 20 foot visibility to take pictures of basically a wall of smoke.
Visual security; temporary shelter at a school 1 mile away means people might get bored and wander. If they happen to look over the 6 foot fence I don't want them to see anything that looks special. We lock the gates but it's still only a wooden fence, but it's all about layers of security.
Cash; went to the ATM and got more. We can always put it back, might not always be able to get it out
Candles; placed more candles around the inside of the house, they cut utilities off in all the evac zones. Since our neighborhood is old it's harder to pinpoint shutoffs and would more than likely make us go dark even if we weren't in an evac section yet.
Tactical vest; I changed my battle load out over to my tac vest, it might draw some looks but I don't care. It's my family and I'm not going to be unprepared while everyone around us is panicking. I would rather give the impression of 'don't mess with me' than 'please come rob us'. These kind of things bring out the worst in people in an instant.

I'm a pessimist, a fire is one of the things we plan for that has the biggest reality of occurring based on our location. I still wouldn't want to live anywhere else (unless it's the dream property and cabin), especially other parts of the city where you can open your window and knock on your neighbors.


  1. Max, prayers your way. Hope you have all your bases covered. Watch your six. Glad that you are ready to bug if you have to. I'm here in Lakewood. We can see the smoke from Boulder, and Fort Collins. If I drive a bit west, up the hill. We can see the smoke from Colorado Springs.

    We watched the news last night. We both had tears in our eyes. Let me know if there is anything I and my wife can do for you. Even though we don't know each other. I've also joined your site.

    Take care, and be safe.

    1. Welcome to my jumbled online diary.
      Thanks for the well wishes, we are super fortunate to have everything traveling north, the winds are blowing around hard right now and the smoke just cleared some.
      We can see structure fires a few miles away, it's moving NW currently so I'm hoping our luck holds.

      Appreciate your offer of help/support to a stranger, it's nice to have faith in humanity restored from time to time.

  2. Glad you made it through the night!

    1. Thanks Matt. I was going to read your blog post today but the internet speed is about 14.4 with the entire county looking at maps and sat images.

    2. Save it for when you're in a bad mood already, as it will just piss you off.

  3. Max - let us know if there is anything that we can do to help! you and yours are always welcome here if it comes down to that! i know you got all of your ducks lined up and i know that you can take care of yourself...but i still worry buddy....kinda' like a big sister would. be safe buddy!

    your friend,

    1. Evil step-sister..... Heh! ;^D

    2. i shoulda' known you would step in with a smart-ass comment little brother!!!!

    3. That's what little brothers do!

    4. That and wedgies.
      Thanks for the offer, we are rocking back into normal mode. In fact I have a huge list of stuff to get done this weekend around the house, like usual. It's going to be a little cooler as well so I won't be sitting around indoors like the last few days, and the air quality is good.

  4. I have no idea how I came across your blog but BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!! If I lived in that area I would want you as a neighbor. I am "older" but Im sure I could watch you and learn to make it thru this mess. Stay safe, you are in my prayers

    1. I just saw this comment, sorry I didn't notice it earlier. Thanks for the kind thoughts, if one person learns something then this entire blog was/is worth the time.
      I'm turning 40 soon and have been living like this for most of my life, so it comes naturally/easier but we all have to start somewhere.