Watching Cal Fire at work

After watching Wade drive away in the Rubicon, I turned my attention to grabbing some last-minute-forgotten items and getting the Volt out of danger.

The week before the big evacuation, I became motivated to re-do my office. Since we were now working at home full-time, I felt I needed to make some changes designed to increase comfort and efficiency. I had re-built my desk for better ergonomics and re-wired everything and decided to (finally) listen to my patient wife and get rid of old equipment that was no longer needed. My friend Ramin has a networking business and on the side refurbishes old laptop for underprivileged children. So my car was loaded up with old laptops and other equipment to take to Ramin. I quickly dumped it all on the garage floor – if I was going to save anything, it wasn’t going to be this old stuff!

Taking a look around the empty street, I saw that the sheriff had put yellow tags on everyone’s mailbox. My guess is that it indicated they had checked the house to make sure the occupants had evacuated and it was empty. I grabbed some last-minute stuff and was preparing to leave when Fred arrived and asked if I could help her move her husband’s car.

With our other neighbor Paul, we headed up to Fred’s place to see if we could get one of the cars out of the garage and into a nearby clearing. When we got there, we found Cal Fire on the job. Their strategy was to let the fire burn in uninhabited areas, and to spend their efforts saving houses. They were setting backfires around the house in order to starve the fire of fuel.

It was pretty amazing to watch the hillside burn so close to the house, but doing it in controlled conditions was far superior to letting Mother Nature do it. After a discussion with Paul and the Cal Fire guys, we decided that the car was safer staying inside the garage than it would be down in the clearing, The garage was stucco outside with a tile roof, so it wasn’t likely that a stray ember would catch it on fire. With the back burn that Cal Fire set, the fire wasn’t likely to work it’s way down, so it seemed the best option to leave things the car where it was. Since we were so close to the fire, we decided the best course of action was to leave as soon as possible. We thanked the firefighters from Cal Fire and the Boulder Creek fire department for their service, and got out of there.

After retrieving my car, I headed back to the Scotts Valley K-Mart to leave it in a relatively spot. I met up with Wade, who had rescued the Jeep, and left the Volt at his campsite. I went back to the RV where Cora, our German Shepherd, had been waiting patiently the whole time, and headed south to join up with Darryl and Jeanne at Marina Dunes RV Park.

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