A friend in Ventura had the barn where she boards her horses burn,but they were rescued. When I last heard this afternoon she and her home and many pets were safe, but that may have changed as more people are evacuated. It is a horrible tragedy for a beautiful area.
Starting to smell smoke from the fire 11 miles upwind. There is a small mountain range between here and there. With the winds slowing down, the fire will probably have a hard time trekking down the slope on the leeward side.
We are expecting the winds to reverse for a couple hours overnight, so the fire will act as its own backfire for that part of the night. If the firefighters can get to the spot-fires quickly enough when the winds go back to off-shore, they may achieve some level of containment. Otherwise, we are probably screwed for another 24 hours (rinse and repeat until Friday.)
We are ready to go if necessary, but that will not be an issue until sometime around daylight at the earliest. I suspect that it will not come to that, but are also not too worried if it does. There's a lot of land between here and there, and that land is currently being tended to by some highly-motivated people.
To my knowledge, we are okay so far as fires go (though we haven't had any access to news today), but we have just had a more-than-eight-hours power outage.
The Santa Ana winds are still blowing (though not at the levels which was true nine or ten hours ago), and power outages can still happen at any moment.
We are safe, but many people geographically fairly near to us are not. I hope everyone who is vulnerable to the current fires remains safe, and that their animals (of all kinds) can be saved.
If I "disappear," the power has gone out again (though LA City Dept. of Water & Power are frequently heroes when it comes to doing everything they can to keep the parts of the Southland they are responsible for in power despite Santa Ana winds, earthquakes, floods, or whatever else has to be dealt with...A hearty Yay!!! for the LA W&P workers!!! They frequently do deeply deserve cheers for what they do).
We're about sixty miles from any major flames. There's a relatively small but somewhat contained fire much closer, though there's no guarantee it will remain contained. My wife is on oxygen because the air quality -- typically pristine here -- is really poor due to the smoke.
We haven't been given any warnings, but being the OCD-types we are where preparedness is concerned, our largest vehicle is loaded and gassed up so that if we were to have to make a quick escape in the night, it would just be a matter of grabbing the kids, the dog, and taking off. My hospital is being great about keeping personnel with family responsibilities off night call as far as is possible. If I am called in, my in-laws will immediately come here (they're about ten miles away from us) so that they will be able to help my wife get the children and dog out. I have really helpful neighbors as well who would assist my wife.
Update: My in-laws, who have a large estate maybe 35 miles north of the Ventura county line, have something like 35 people staying at their home. They have live-in help, and have also hired security guards to help in the event that they have to leave to be with my wife and children. I don't think they're seriously worried any of the displaced people will trash their place or steal anything in their absence, but the extra personnel are also helping to ensure that everyone is fed and comfortable. They have the plumbing to accommodate that many people without problems.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 01:04AM by scmd.
I am really glad you and your wife are packed and ready to go, and that you also have the likely contingencies covered too.
I remember one of the big wildfires that happened when I was growing up. Although the area was under mandatory evacuation orders, emergency workers were going door to door, busting in the doors when they had to, making sure there was no one in the houses because the houses they were going to were sure to burn if the fire continued. (It did...the houses did burn.) While they were inside each house, they were grabbing whatever they could find that they thought was irreplaceable to that family: legal papers if they could find them, family pictures, etc. I can still "see" a front page newpaper photo of one of the emergency workers, grabbing framed family photos off the walls so that the family who owned that house would not lose totally everything.
It is good to be OCD-types in emergencies...I wish you and your family, and all of your neighbors, the best possible good wishes on every level. I feel for all of you.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/06/2017 01:04AM by Tevai.
I'm fairly far away in NM now, having been dragged all over the country in an earlier life when I was married to a corporate hot-dog. I wish my mother had not sold the family home in San Diego.
I have papers showing that the property was bought for $1200 back in the early Fifties. We built the house ourselves, little by little. My father did all the carpentry and masonry. He didn't put in the windows, electrical system, or the plumbing, but he did pretty much everything else.
First, he built a charming little cottage, for my grandmother. He told us that by building the cottage, he learned how to build a house. Then he built our house next to it, a two-bedroom, with 1 1/2 baths. The last time it sold, it was in the $300,000 range.
When my best friend was going through her final hospitalization, DH and I drove back to San Diego. Of course, we had to stop by my house. When I explained to the current owner that my parents had built the house, and that I had just stopped by to say "hi" to it, the owner was very gracious and asked if we would like to step inside to see how much it had changed.
I hadn't seen the inside of the house since the mid-70s, so it was marvelous. I told DH "This was my old room, that one was my parents' room," etc. I'm glad that the house has nice people in it now. Dad built a lot of love into it, and I think that the love is still there.
I have some ashes in my driveway, but not seriously out of control, and none on my sidewalk. None in the house (as I have central air, and I keep my windows closed). ('m hoping my gardener will hose the rest away, when he comes.)
My son in Arleta (near Van Nuys), had to sweep stuff out of his 2-car closed garage, and the driveway in front of it.
Just talked to a friend that lives in the Ventura keys. The winds finally subsided enough to get some C-130's and helicopters to drop water and retardant. Then, some asshole flew his drone in the flight pattern and shut down the operation. I hope they find that guy and arrest him. People can be so stupid and selfish.