Big Sur Wildfire
So I’m not sure if you’ve been following the news about the California wildfires, in particular the Big Sur or Soberanes Fire. If you are local to my area, how could you not? Between the smoke and the fire trucks everywhere, it’s been a pretty visible presence in out location.
If you aren’t, let me fill you in. The fire started on Friday July 22nd in Garrapata State Park near Big Sur. It was in remote area that had lots of rough terrain and spread very rapidly. Because of the landscape it was very difficult to fight on foot and that is what helped the fire escalate so quickly.
Today, as of the last announcement this morning it is sitting at 43,400 acres burned and only 18 % contained. 57 homes have been destroyed and more than 2000 are threatened. There has been a state of emergency declared and we have had one fatality.
The good news is that we have over 5400 personal fighting this fire for us. Firefighters have streamed in from across this great state to assist us with trying to contain this disaster. They are doing everything they can for us, the problem is that they can’t fight a fire they can’t get to.
Rob and I discussed the reason we think that it is so little contained is because they are just securing the perimiter of the fire and letting the uninhabited forest within burn. They have been so amazingly diligent at getting all the lines bulldozed and they have been lighting the backfires for the last couple of days. *knocks wood* Things seem to be going well on that side of the operation.
They released the information today that this fire was set off by an illegal campfire that was left unattended within an area of Garrapata State Park that you aren’t even allowed to camp in. I’m trying REALLY hard not to dwell on this fact, because it makes me VERY angry and I know there is nothing we can do about it now. Even if we were to try and catch the people, how can you prove it? And if you can prove it, what then? You can throw them in jail, yes but does that bring back Robert Reagan, the 35 year bulldozer operator that was killed, leaving behind a wife and two beautiful children while fighting this fire? Does it bring back the almost 60 homes, including all memories within that have been destroyed? Obviously, no it doesn’t. It just makes me crazy to think that this whole thing could have been prevented. THINK, people! You are in the middle of a HUGE drought, do you really think it’s a good idea to light a fire in the middle of a tinderbox of a forest??
On Sunday, Rob and I noticed some people in our backyard using our neighbors currently vacant porch. Upon closer inspection we discovered that it was a group of firefighters having their lunch. They have been out here where we live on an “over protection” mission, tagging houses in case we need to evacuate. Rob quickly gathered a cooler full of water, sodas and 5 hour energy shots and brought it down to them. It was literally the least we could do to help the men that are trying to save our houses and neighborhood.
This morning I had some things put in perspective for me. As I woke up my thoughts drifted from: “I just want to go back to sleep!” and “I don’t WANT to go to work!” to “Oh Gawwwd, I have to do *name simple yet time consuming task* today, it’s going to take FOREVER!” and then I thought about all the things I COULD do at the house (but wouldn’t) if I could just stay home. You know, the usual. “Grumble, grumble, grumble…Me, Me, Me”
After I got showered and dressed, I ventured to work and as I passed through the village I saw about seven or eight fire engines stopped at various markets and gas stations. Firefighters were holding coffee and water and getting back in the trucks, getting ready to start their work day. Their work day. They were getting ready to risk their lives to save my house and a lot of them had bright smiles on their faces.
And I was bitching about having to wake up and go push paper for eight hours. Really Kelly? It was a pretty big eye opener for me.
This blog is all over the place, but I’m just trying to sort my head out. The other thing that struck me about this whole thing is that sometimes, it takes a tragedy to make me feel good about humanity again. What with all the political crap flooding my facebook page, it was nice to see all the simple handmade signs around the village. I’ve posted some below. I didn’t take those pictures, but I’ve seen a good number of them on my ventures in the valley this week.
Oh and the bulldozer driver that lost his life? Someone started a gofundme account soon after the horrible accident to support his wife and two kids. It was only asking for 16,000 as a goal, but in just five days it has swelled to almost 95,000 dollars! I know it won’t bring him back, but the generosity brought me to tears. Here is the website if you want to donate. I hope that you do.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.