Thursday, May 02, 2013

We are surrounded...

eta: The evacuation order has been lifted and people have returned to the neighborhood, but we were told to keep our cars packed in case we need to evacuate again this evening. 8000+ acres have burned so far. We can still see smoke in the area. It's scary.

We were given evacuation orders earlier this morning and the cars are still packed and ready to go. At one point earlier today it looked as though our community of Dos Vientos might just go up in flames. We decided it wasn't bad enough to warrant leaving the house, but we are ready if it becomes necessary. I might be being optimistic here, but it looks as though the worst of the fire has passed us by. At one point, I was standing in my master bedroom watching the fire coverage on the TV, and was able to see flames in the hills out the windows on either side of my house. We're still surrounded by smaller, residual fires, but most of the hills around us have already burned with no structures of any kind damaged/burned. The fire is now headed toward the beach via Sycamore Canyon. Planes and helicopters are still continuously flying overhead and that's a bit disconcerting.

This photo is taken from my master bedroom window looking back
towards Thousand Oaks and Borchard Road. The road into
Dos Vientos is closed at Borchard since we're
under evacuation unders. Several hours earlier,
we couldn't even see across the street from all the
blowing smoke. The sky at the time was orange.
I was too panicked to take photos  then, in addition to the
fact that we were busy packing up the cars.

I've shown photos previously of Cal State Channel Islands, which was also evacuated earlier, and all the hills surrounding it are either burning presently or have already burned. The fire is well over 7000 acres at this point and there are 850+ fire crew.

I have to give credit to the firemen in our area. They are the best of the best because they are used to fighting these kinds of fires and they do an extremely good job.

 This photo is taken through the window and window screen
on the other side of my master bedroom from the photo
above. Unfortunately, the photo doesn't show it,
but there were huge flames I could see very easily
when I was taking this. This is about 3 blocks from my house.

The fire started near the Camarillo Springs area, which is just over the hill towards the north and east of us, this morning around 6am and actually looked on the television reports we were watching as though it wouldn't reach us and was going to be under control at any minute. But the winds, extreme heat, and tinder-dry conditions proved too much to handle.

I took this photo from the front porch just before I started
writing this blog post. This is the fire headed west towards the ocean.
This is probably a couple miles from my house.

Now it looks like this... it's really growing quite quickly.

I'm walking from room to room, a little nervously, hoping the fire will be contained quickly. I think I'll go out next week and take some photos of the burned and blackened hills. If there's a positive thing to be said about this fire, it's that we won't have to worry about the possibility of a fire in the coming hotter, and dryer, summer months since there won't be anymore fuel.


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Scary. Take care.

Anya said...

Stay safe!

Exuberant Color said...

Thinking positive thoughts for your area that they can extinguish the fire soon. It must be terrifiying watching it from your home. Stay safe Terri.

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

Oh my, how scary! Stay safe!

Kar said...

Be safe Terri! Saying prayers that all will be alright with you and your husband. :)

Maureen said...

Must be very scary for you both - hoping that they can bring the fire completely under control quickly.
Take care!

Miriam said...

Stay safe Terri!!!

HollyM said...

This must be very scary! I hope it has settled down. It was just on our news last night about some fires in our province and area. Nothing too serious at the moment. We've a dry spell coming though.
Thinking of you.

Sally said...

OMG, Terri. Please keep us posted. I'm praying for you.

Vicki W said...

Oh gosh, how scary! I know that in your area you are always prepared for something! Be safe. I'll be thinking about you.

Rafael's Mum said...

It's awful when you don't know whether the fire can reach you or not. I remember when there was a fire close to the Blackbear Cabin last year. Luckily they were spared and I am hoping the same for you. Having a little forewarning and a packed car is a positive. What a time to be deciding what's most precious (and necessary) to take.
Take care and stay safe.