Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Wildfires 2007

560,000 people evacuated in San Diego County -- it's unbelievable.

We're still fine -- no smoke at all. Blue skies. Just very windy. Even driving to the library to drop off books before dinner, I felt my Corolla being pushed about on the main street -- I was only going 30 mph. I think the winds were going faster.

Our dear family friends, Dan and Francie Barrios, lost their home yesterday; they found out this morning. I've known them since I was eight years old, and they are aunt and uncle to our kids. Francie had awakened at 4 AM, coughing from the smoke. When they saw how close the fire was, Dan ran from door to door, waking the neighbors. Dan and Francie only had time to grab Francie's jewelry, a change of clothing, and drove off in their two vehicles. Whew.

I heard from one of my friends in Escondido who evacuated safely and found out that their home just escaped. Right now there's a huge battle outside the gates of the division where our good friends, the Cox family, own their home that overlooks Lake Hodges. The firefighters are trying to hold the line at Via Rancho Parkway and not allow the fire into the gated subdivision; we can only pray they succeed.

All schools and universities are closed for the week, and I received word that Class Day is canceled for Thursday. I'm debating about e-mailing the new assignments out to my students rather than missing two weeks of assignments. We'll see....

Anyway, we remain fine. Keith's dad and brother and family are all fine -- the little ones are getting stir-crazy but they're all safe, as is their home thus far. Six people have died, and 1500-2000 homes have burned. And I still can't believe that 560,000 people have been evacuated. Wow.....

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