July 29, 2015. I looked up from my writing to see a mushroom cloud through the trees outside my window. This was beginning of the Rock fire.
I walked up the drive and saw that there were two fires burning in the north. One was a spot fire that must have developed quickly because it was almost the size of the original fire by the time I took this image.
By nightfall another dragon was born.
Before dark I began to set up evacuation plans. I used Facebook to try to find someone who would take the goats. While I was waiting for a response I began prepping the place as best I could. I dropped the tarps and swept out the rain gutters and the roofs of the main house and the outbuildings, climbing around in the dark while the dragon rolled and churned through the wilderness in the north.
Using a lamp strapped to my head I caught one cat and got her into a cage. I made room in the back of my broken down Subaru for two cat cages and a cage for the chickens. I began packing and loading the car with hard drives, the alter, the latest project, irreplaceable items, a pair of boots, notes and printed versions of the book. The things one takes when looting your life in the face of a fire.
By the time I got several responses for places to put the goats I was exhausted. I was beyond exhausted. My heart was pounding in my chest and my knees were turning into jello and the first flames were spilling over the crest of the ridge.
On the road above I could hear the neighbors driving out with their horse trailers. The night was strangely quite. I felt like I was one of the left behind. Spot fires were burning on the ridge in the north.
I have to thank the couple who came to my rescue, although it did not end well. They managed to back their 20 foot horse trailer down the drive. We worked until 5:00 a.m. getting all the San Clemente goats into that trailer.
I managed to get an hour of sleep before the sun came up.
Morning brought a clear sky on Day 2.
The person who took the goats could not keep them so I spent the day finding another place for them to stay. By the time I got home it was armageddon all over again. The dragon was loose on the world.
The fire fighters put up a brave fight with the aerial bombing of fire-retardant. By dark all was quiet.
Sunrise Day 3.
The day was so clear I thought I could see if I could find someone with a truck to bring the goats home. But by the time I finished feeding the evacuated goats out where they were staying the smoke had returned.
I am back at PsiKeep writing this blog. The road is closed. The fire is running to the north by northwest. I am going to stop now to see if I can get out to feed the goats at the end of the day. I will probably load the car again with all the stuff I have chosen to evacuate and take the animals with me. If I can get back in I will to try to stay here as long as I safely can.