Sunday, October 25, 2009

Another Fire Near My Home

Despite over 13 inches of rain just a bit over a week ago, fire season is definitely not over. Very early this morning a fire broke out near the site of the Summit Fire that caused so much grief and damage last year.

As of this writing the fire is listed at 800 acres in size and either 0% or 5% contained, depending on the source you're reading. The local school just a mile or two north of us is being used as a helipad, so we've had a constant stream of helicopters landing and taking off there all afternoon.

Like last year, the fire is east of us by a few miles. Based on the smoke I can see, the prevailing winds are blowing south, also like last time. However, unlike last time, I've seen written reports that the first is moving west. If it is doing so it is moving slowly, and it's happening because of terrain, not wind. Still, west is towards us, and those reports have me slightly worried.

The bigger worry, though, is wind. I've got an email from the weather service saying the entire bay area is going under a high wind watch on Monday night. They're expecting northerly winds of some speed. That would not drive the fire towards our home, but it would be nasty for those in the path and those working the blaze.

In any case Anne and I are just fine at the moment, and we're keeping a careful eye on things. If I was responding with the VFD I'd probably be at the station, ready to respond to any other incidents that come up, though it is possible I'd be on the fire line itself. When the pager goes off at 3:30am you do what you're told, and I have no way of predicting exactly where I'd be.

For those wanting more information, the best sources of news I've found so far appear to be:

http://calfire.blogspot.com/

and

http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/incidents/incidents_details_info?incident_id=402

The former appears to be updated more often, but isn't official. The latter is definitely official, but only gets updated once or twice a day.

This one is called the Loma Fire. If I get any major news about it I'll share it here. Hopefully, though, things are under control relatively quickly and things get back to normal.

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