|But the Softened Light is Beautiful
||[Jun. 12th, 2008|06:05 pm]
So they've evacuated the southern third of town. That starts about two and a half miles south of my house. The fire began yesterday afternoon, but I didn't find out about it until today. It began east of Chico, and I didn't even see any smoke around here. Yesterday evening a tanker plane flew over the house, the shadow brushing me as it passed, but I thought it was heading for the fire south of Oroville. Instead it was the first of the planes which have been dropping water and fire retardants on the advancing Humboldt fire. The ruggedness of the landscape over which the conflagration has been passing today made it frequently inaccessible to ground-based firefighters. |
So far only a few houses have burned, but if the northeasterly winds shift to the south then the whole town will be in danger. Everybody who moves here knows (or should know) that the place will eventually meet the fate of Berkeley in 1923 and Oakland in 1991. This could be the time. A few neighbors on this block have apparently left already, even though we aren't under an evacuation order yet. At least if the fire doesn't head this way tonight, it will be quiet around here. If the town burns, then it will be quiet around here for quite a while.
The smoke cloud today has been splendid. Dark below, as though the front of an advancing storm, its top was as fluffy and white as any spring cumulus, and when I first noted it about three o'clock it was flushed with pink on its eastern side. Thus far it has remained distant, but it could head this way tonight. If the fire heads this way then we will probably have to evacuate tomorrow. I hope it's not sooner. It would be difficult enough by daylight. In any case, as the fire is now over a day old and has already burned 8000 acres, and is only about 10% contained, the odds that we'll have to evacuate are pretty high. If we do then I probably won't have access to a computer for some unforeseeable length of time. Nobody destroy LJ while I'm gone, OK?
I am worried about those feral cats, though. They've got as good a chance as any of the wild creatures hereabout I suppose, but the wild creatures don't come up on my porch and take naps. Stay safe, kitties!
Oh, and the power has been off several times today as lines are rerouted after being damaged by flames. Even if we don't have to leave there might be trouble with electricity. I'm running the air conditioner while it lasts, since it was very, very hot today. If the house burns then PG&E will have nowhere to send the bill. It's an ill wind....
And about ten gardenias bloomed last night. If the smoke stays away I'll be able to smell them, along with the thriving jasmine. I'm waiting to see what color the moon will be.