October 27, 2007

Firestorm Burns Down

With a break in the weather, came a break in the fires. It looks like most of the fires will be contained by Tuesday. My friends who were evacuated are now back home.

I worked a shift in the Emergency Operations Center last night and saw first hand the destruction of the man made, and the renewal of the natural. Most people never consider that fire ecology is the ecology of southern California. We don't have 40" of rain every year to rot and decay the dead plants. We have fire. The carbon cycle is how carbon-based life forms are renewed. That renewal comes through gradual decomposition, or quick-burning fire.

October 24, 2007

Dogwood Safe, Green Valley Cooked

This map is from RimOfTheWorld.net. It shows the Slide Fire burn as of this evening. Green Valley Campground is in the top right corner of the donut hole. Clearly, it is within the burn zone. Their map of the Dogwood area makes it look like it is unburned.

October 23, 2007

Fire Update

The news on the fires is not good. I won't try to duplicate the news reports here, but my buddy and his family have made their last update from the mountain. They were evacuated last night.

In looking at the fire maps, Dogwood Campground is within the fire perimeter and I have to suspect it was involved, if not consumed. The Strawberry Peak lookout is also within the fire area.

Green Valley Lake area got so bad that they pulled the emergency personnel out of the area for their safety. They expect to lose over 400 homes there. From the fire maps, the Campground is suspected consumed.

It is completely selfish of me to think about these campgrounds when so many homes and businesses have been lost to these fires. 113 homes have been lost so far to the Grass Valley Fire, and 25 in the Slide Fire.

October 22, 2007

Another Fire

That windstorm last weekend only got worse and turned into a firestorm. So far 128 homes in the area have burned. The fire-line is walking distance from our campsite. I got an email from a buddy who lives in the area: Lake Arrowhead and surrounding areas are under mandatory evacuation. Homeowners in Twin Peaks are calling 911 because the fire has reached their homes, or they are now on fire. The homeowners are being told to just get out as best as they can. There are no more available resources. Dozens, if not hundreds, of homes have burned, or are going to burn. We will have no air support today, and resources are spread too thin. Strawberry Peak Fire Lookout was evacuated this morning, and the tower will be closed until further notice. Most of the Lake Arrowhead and Cedar Pines Park area are without power. Areas are also without water pressure due to the power outages. There may be a power shut down of the entire mountain in a few minutes due to continuing power lines coming down.

October 21, 2007

Busy Weekend

We just got back from a weekend at Dogwood. Well, kind of a weekend at Dogwood. Sherry had a meeting Saturday morning, so Andy and I went and set everything up on Friday night. As we were setting up, we could hear a marching band nearby. Dogwood is walking distance from Rim of the World High School and they were having a varsity football game against the Diamondbacks (who trounced them 45-7). We enjoyed the game, caught some zees and drove home Saturday morning for a shower and to pick up Sherry.

On our way back up the mountain, we stopped at the huge RV show at the fairgrounds. There was a bunch of cool rigs to drool over, but nothing worth mortgaging the house over. We did spend some money in the accessories tent. We got some gadgets and gizmos and a cool fitted picnic table cover.

We got back into camp in the afternoon and then headed into Blue Jay for groceries and dinner. Because there was a campfire restriction, we decided to spend some time in town before an evening hike around the campground. This is a gorgeous campground that reminds me very much of Sequoia National Park. The Valley Oaks and Cypress trees outnumber the pines. The hookup sites are all pretty nice, but Site 89 has the best combination of level, view, and proximity to flush bathrooms.

One of the things I really like about our trailer is that it was very easy for Andy and I to move it around the campsite to get it just right. In this case, turning the trailer ninety degrees to the front eliminated the slope and oriented the door to the picnic table and campfire ring.

Just before midnight Saturday night, the temperature dropped to freezing and we were getting 40 mph gusts. At dawn on Sunday, Sherry and I walked to the bathroom and watched everyone who was camping in tents packing it up. We lasted a little longer. We ate breakfast burritos as we watched pine cones swirling around in dust devils. We packed it up and were on the road by 9AM.

October 5, 2007

Stupid Trailer Mod

My buddy Jake just forwarded these photos of a trailer accident waiting to happen. Incredible.