rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Reset Twelve, Day Five

When I opened my eyes at some point early Wednesday morning, the light leaking around the blinds was red. I expected red light early, as there was bound to be smoke from the big fire east of Oroville. Because the light was not too bright, I assumed it was not long after dawn, and I went back to sleep. Later I opened my eyes again, and it was still red, so I thought little time had passed and I went back to sleep again. The next time I opened my eyes I didn't feel very sleepy anymore, but the light was still red. I got up and looked out the window to see what looked like a red twilight. I checked the clock and it was almost noon. So there was no sunrise to speak of Wednesday, and no real day to speak of. Although it got a bit brighter for a couple of hours in the afternoon, it was back to red twilight before five o'clock. It was just like the day after Paradise burned. I did not enjoy the reminder. A steady fall of ash has covered everything.

Much of the afternoon I spent monitoring fire reports on the Internet. The hamlet of Berry Creek, about 25 miles from Oroville, is gone, consumed overnight Tuesday/Wednesday. There were about 500 houses in the area, and the fire expanded so fast that there was little time for evacuation when warning came in the middle of the night. The bodies of three people who failed to make it out have been found, and seven people are known to be missing. There is so far no information about how many houses have been destroyed throughout the fire zone, but at least 20,000 people have been evacuated, and another 20,000 are under an evacuation warning, including most of the city of Oroville itself. Here's an article in the SF Gate with some photos.

There isn't so much wind tonight, so there's a good chance Oroville won't burn, but the fire is nowhere near contained so risk remains, and it's likely that we will get another smokey day with the sun dimmed. The one good thing about that is that the thick smoke cover is keeping the temperatures down. It only got up into the mid-seventies Wednesday, instead of the predicted mid-nineties.

I ended up eating potato chips and cottage cheese for dinner Wednesday, then took a nap that lasted until near midnight, and after being awake for a while ate a bran muffin and drank some unsweetened chocolate milk. The pervasive smell of smoke is not stimulating my appetite, but it is aggravating my cough. Things are likely to stay weird for at least a few more days. I'm likely to stay weird permanently.

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