I had just gotten in bed and was reading my book when I began to hear the odd popping noises. I lay there for a minute trying to decide what the noise was before deciding some idiot had gotten into a box of 4th of July fireworks. After a few more moments of getting upset that someone was setting off fireworks in our extremely dry conditions I got up to investigate. I could hear that it was coming from the north or west of us so I headed out to the hillside to see if I could locate the noise. I did, across the road and just up the hill was a column of billowing smoke with a flickering glowing red base. Fire, and close.
At this point the analytical side of my brain kicked in, the breeze generally blows away from where the fire is, there currently is no breeze, I think I hear sirens, I definitely hear sirens, I should wake Eryn up, our driveway is still accessible, the dog was asleep by the side door, we could get out of here quickly if we need to, I don’t think we need to leave. By the time I got back up to the bedroom to wake her up I was very calm and collected. She, having been awaken to news of a fire, was not yet as mater of fact about the whole thing.
We both went back out to the hillside and watched as a brigade of fire resources arrived on scene. They immediately surrounded the home and began cutting into it. Trucks continued to arrive filling the road between our property and the fire. I moved down our driveway to watch for a few minutes while Eryn stayed up on the porch to listen for the boys. While it seemed the fire was under control I worried about our three year old son waking to the opposite hillside covered in fire engines. After the October 2017 Tubbs Fire he worried for months about dragons coming to get his house. I know he is going to need to understand that fire danger is a part of our life here and we need to be prepared and aware, we are still just getting situated and I don’t want him to live in fear. Thankfully he slept.
After another fifteen minutes passed and some of the mutual aid started to be released from the scene. Eryn and I stood on the porch watching and listening until most of the big trucks were eventually released. The initial adrenaline of the situation wearing off and a sense calm filling in. We both went to bed and even slept feeling comfortable that the fire department had the situation under control.
My heart goes out to the family dealing with the damage to their home. I don’t know how the fire started but I do appreciate the amazing response of our local fire departments and how quickly they were able to contain the situation. Thankfully there was no wind this evening and the fire didn’t seem to spread. It is again another warning that we need to be prepared. So this week I’m checking our emergency bags, updating our evacuation plans and I’ll be back out there clearing brush to make as best a defensible space I can. This is just what it means to live in fire country.