Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Wildfire

Thursday, August 02, 2007


If you ever catch on fire, try to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror, because I bet that's what really throws you into a panic.

~Jack Handey (Saturday Night Live)

I was working yesterday in my sauna of an office when my neighbor called from her car driving our direction. She was obviously quite excited about something and asked, "What's up with the fire?" Since it was hot, my blinds were closed to shield me from any afternoon heat. When I opened them, this is what I saw. As the last post contained enough profanity to last us a month, I will spare you from what I said. Because the wind was blowing the other direction, even though the fire was quickly spreading, it was headed away from our house. However, I did do a quick mental inventory of things to throw in the car in case the wind shifted. The lumbering rumble of borate bombers began over our house, casting eerie, floating shadows over the ground as they flew over and making me feel as if I was in a war movie. Brian witnessed one drop a scarlet cloud of fire retardant over the flames as he drove home from work.

It's funny because the last time my old neighborhood caught fire, I was also blissfully unaware of the orange flames shooting up through the trees less than one block away. My friend's husband called me and was surprised I was still at home. When I looked out the window, there were indeed flames snaking through the branches across the street, and soon firefighters had blocked off our little cul-de-sac, so there was nothing to do but watch and pray they knew what they were doing. I should probably look out the window more often!

This morning my throat is scratchy from breathing smoke all night, but there is only a thick, low-lying cloud of leftover haze obscuring the site of the blaze.

* Update 8:05 a.m. The wind has now shifted, bringing in choking clouds of smoke and haze. According to our local news, the fire is apparently not close to being contained, but they are still working on it. When I took the photo yesterday, it was at a mere 10 acres. It's now 200 acres! Thunderstorms are due this afternoon, which won't be helping things. So far, though, we are out of danger.

* 4:50 p.m. Fire 30% contained at 589 acres and looking good.



Blogger Laura said...

Wow, that's scary! Glad to hear you all are safe.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hope the winds change and you are out of harms way.. Thinking of you.. xoxo Heather

2:08 PM  
Blogger Rosemarie said...

I posted earlier today on Arizona skies and the monsoon season.

Glad all is okay!

9:44 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Oh wow-------are you evacuating or thought about it? That can't be healthy for you & your family.

Amazing how smoke travels though- because when Canada had that massive wildfire about 4 yrs back, the northern winds took them south towards New York. I went outside and said, "Gee, it looks yellow out." I didn't know if it was my eyes or if it was just the way the day looked itself. Then, later on that afternoon, I said, "Someone's burning garbage or leaves or something..."

Turns out the news verified that it was the smoke from the fires up in Canada, which is appx. 7 hours away from us.

Hope you're doing ok.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Our Journey..... said...

Keep safe and look out the window every now and then to make sure it's not coming your way :) !!!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

Goodness! Please keep us posted, I wanna make sure you're ok! Sorry I haven't been by in awhile, it's been a crazy summer here! I hope it's been a good one for you, and your family as well! *hugs and love*

9:13 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

How scary :O
We had a big fire through our town back in 2001 somthing i will never forget.
Stay safe i will be thinking of you guys!

7:28 PM  

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