Within hours, this blog went from sitting in idle, to averaging 45 hits per hour, simply because of the Rocky Fire. This site is just part of an idea that I had a few months ago. I had no idea that the spotlight was going to be turned on Clearlake (specifically The Avenues), so brightly.
Oh, well. Whatever the story of Lake Avenues, it is rooted firmly in the shared experience and lessons of the fire, and it takes fire to start fire, so…
The good news!
They did an incredible job of holding back the fire, last night, and it’s 40% contained. It did not advance in acreage.
There certainly will be a lot of stories coming out of this, and perhaps I shall add some of my own, as well as those of others up here in The Avenues (#AveNews). For now, some highlights off of the top of my head:
The week is a blur, as far as what happened and when, exactly. A few days ago it seemed this area was in big trouble, as the smoked billowed up from east to north. It seemed as if the mandatory evacuation call was about to come in at any second. Then the heavy aircraft came in. I guess I should call it what it is: “very large air tanker” or “VLAT”, which were DC-10s, in this case.
Rocky threatens the avenues, just moments before a impressive air assault. In fact, it was so impressive that I did not take pictures.
The sights and sounds of the aircraft gave us hope and boosted our spirits. On top of that, everybody (well, at least the men) were thrilled when they flew directly over the neighborhood, like rock stars:
“They flew right over my street”!
It seemed at that point that we had turned a corner and would be fine. Of course, we learned later that it was not the end of our risk. There were more close calls.
Another comforting moment came two days ago. Engines from San Francisco had been canvassing the neighborhood all day, and when it was clear that they were staying at one point for a while, I decided to ask them what was going on.
It seems that the day before, Clearlake/The Avenues were right back in harms way, as the fire changed direction. Not wanting to be 45 minutes out of the area if something happened quickly again, these men were sent here to be on guard. It’s mostly dirt roads up here, with many of them having dead ends, and they needed to be prepared.
I was told that there were 10 engines up here. Five of them were from San Francisco: SFR71, 72, 73, 74, and 75. Many thanks to these gentleman for being here. It was reassuring and many of us had a fair amount of sleep that night for the first time in nearly a week.
SFR71 and crew. The bicycle belonged to a resident – it’s not part of the approach …
That’s all for the moment. I managed to get some good sleep last night, but I am still spent. As I was jotting down my two cents, word came in that Phase 1 of repopulation for the area has begun.
Thank you so much to the world for tuning in and caring about us. Words cannot express our gratitude. It’s still not over… this has been surreal. The fire seemed supernatural, but that’s a story for another time.