Thursday, July 05, 2012

Pictures from the fire.

Fire. It's part of the circle of life. A natural occurrence that man kind has learned to harness to some extent. But it's also non-tamable. And if you add in wind, dry timber for fuel - nothing can stop its path. But the forests need it, to be burned clean so life can start new. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

This is where I used to start my hill repeats. I have stashed any extra bottles and flat kit by the electrical box you see in the background.
I was curious. I wanted to see with my own eyes what the city experienced the previous week. Being just outside of the evacuation zone, I wanted to see just how much of an impact this fire had. Along with the rest of the world, I saw the images on CNN and the Gazette. But nothing prepared me for the real impact.

Unlike the previous few days, the smoke smell disappeared. And if you look to the left, the houses are untouched even though the ridge above it was charcoal gray.
I didn't know which neighborhood Mountain Shadows is. I knew it was up in the vicinity where I do my hill repeats, but I didn't realize it was called that. Looking left (south), other than the brush fire remnants, nothing appears out of the ordinary.
Then you realize just how close those homes came to burning. What prevented it?
National Guard stood guard at the entrance to the streets too fire damaged to live in, yet still left standing.
See that big black patch directly in view? That's the path the fire took. It jumped over the entire street and destroyed the neighborhood below. Oddly, the fence was still standing.
Directly across the street from the picture pictured above, the Mountain Shadows neighborhood once sat. An entire cudesac: gone. I wasn't really prepared for that one. It slaps you in the face, the furry of fire.
I stood there in awe. That could have been our house. It could have been your parents, friends or neighbors. Where do you pick up the pieces after experiencing something like that? It still baffles me that only 2 people were killed from this fire.
This is the pathway of the fire, which leaped across the street and decimated the Mountain Shadow neighborhood.

Looking down into the neighborhood. That's a Jeep burned in the garage.
As I stood above what once were houses, a big wave of emotion over came me. We are but ants in this spinning world, and the world as you know can be turned upside down in a second.
A lone terracotta flower pot stands amongst the rubble.

Once I crested the hill, it took me a second to realize what I was seeing. In an effort to save more homes from burning, firefighters removed wooded fencing from all of the houses. Their tactic worked for most.
This sign put me in tears.
Yet hope rings through this neighborhood. People whose houses were spared, thanks in large part of the fire fighters efforts, but also a shift in the wind, put up signs everywhere that they are so thankful to be spared. You can feel the love.
Blodgett Mountain stands in the distance. This is the road traveling up to Woodmen.

Some how, some way, this entire neighborhood was spared. Thank you firefighter signs are every where.
It's hard to tell the difference between what's normal and what's not. Especially if you can't see it with your own eyes. But trust me, it's stunning. The topography remains the same, but the landscape is forever altered.
Drats! My camera phone was too slow to capture the fox... but he was there. Cautious and beautiful.

Looking back down the valley at Blodgett.

So many were lucky. So many were not. I'm proud of my community and nation in its response to the disaster. Money is pouring in for Red Cross and other disaster relief programs. Thank you all for thinking of us and know that we are safe and time will heal.

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