Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Home Fires are Burning

I can now see the glow of the Station Fire from the ridgeline behind my house.

Ironically enough, the evacuation area on Starlight Crest Drive in La Canada, where the Station Fire began, is where I grew up. We used to live on the eastern edge of Starlight Crest, down the hill from the country club and golf course. When we bought this house in Altadena, I used to joke that if I got on the roof, I could probably see my old house in La Canada. Now, if I get up on the roof, I can see the fire line extending from my old house to my current.

Rather than sit here and anxiously wait, last night we decided to go to a party at ME's house for an hour or so, to see friends and tucker out the baby. When we left, we could see spot fires on our side of the hill. We took the 210 through La Canada and could see the way it was spreading west towards La Crescenta and Big Tujunga, that's the picture above. 90 minutes later, on the way home, the smoke driving through LC was almost like driving through dark grey fog, and the smell permeated the car so strongly it was cloying in my nose. What were spot fires on our hill were now connected into what looked like one solid fire line on the hill to the west of my house. This morning, like I said, I can see glow through the trees behind me. We have spent the last two days with the doors and windows shut and the AC on, but this morning the smell of smoke has permeated my house.

We have the essentials packed in case we are told or advised to evacuate. W has made it clear that CJ and I should go to my mother's, he will follow when the pool is boiling. Until then, he's going to stay behind with a camera and a hose. I should clarify, I've packed a bag for baby and a box of necessary documents, but I can't bring myself to pack my own clothes and necessities, mostly because I groan at the thought of having to unpack all of this when we're not evacuated. Dumb, I know.

In all my years of living in LA, of living in the San Gabriel mountain area, I have never seen the fires this close. I have friends and family who still live in La Canada, who are packing and evacuating and waiting anxiously to see what will happen in our sleepy little town. The air quality here is bad and W wants me to take the baby to my mother's, but I really don't want to leave my house without an evacuation order, it feels like conceding. In the meantime, I think I will try to continue to pack. That seems like a good compromise.

1 comment:

  1. hey - i hope you are still able to be in your home... if there's anything i can do, please let me know.