June 12, 2008

Fire on the Mountain

BONNY DOON - The Martin Fire, which erupted not far from the Bonny Doon Fire Station just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, had consumed about 700 acres late Wednesday and is expected to grow to 1,500 acres before it's controlled, Cal Fire officials said. -
Santa Cruz Sentinel

Driving home from work yesterday along route one, I noticed the plume of orangy grey clouds in the sky. "Hmm, fog doesn't usually come from the mountains" I thought, "Looks almost like a fire." By the time I reached the intersection with route 9, traffic had stopped to let firetrucks through.
I was amazed not to smell any smoke, as we could after the Corralitos fire three weeks ago.

Arriving home I went online to find the story and google map the situation, feeling a rising panic in my chest. My house mate returned home early from her job at UCSC, and we started making evacuation plans. I went and looked at my earthquake kit, and we laughed as I pulled out the world's tiniest fire extinguisher, "We're safe now!"

I walked around the house in a slight daze, wondering what to pack. The cat carriers came down first, a quick travel bag of my essential medications, rustled through all my secret money magic stashes for cash, backed up both computers, and stuffed my briefcase with important papers, ie house insurance!

I had planned on going roller skating, but when my friend called I was too freaked out and canceled. I kept going from room to room watching the smoke in the sky, then sitting at the laptop trying to figure out how fast was it really spreading. I felt sick and shaken to the core, pacing back & forth to the bathroom until I finally threw up.

"Get grip, KayKay, take a chill pill" the voice in my head told me, so I called my friend back to at least have some distraction. We ended up walking to Natural Bridges and back, using up all of my nervous energy. The wind had died down considerably after the sunset, and I began to feel more grounded.

I went to bed late, getting up several times in the night to look out the window & check the internet. At dawn, I could see the cloud of smoke just sitting on the mountain, but could find no updates.

After the Corralitos fire I wrote a prayer for all the bugs & wildlife that died, but I couldn't find it this morning for my blog, so here I am just rambling on instead. It's now 7:13 and I can hear fire engines and dogs barking, not a winning combination for early morning tranquility.

Pray for the bugs, my friends, and all the displaced beings, human & otherwise, who lost their homes in the wildfires this summer.

Blessed be.