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I’m still okay. The fires didn’t come near my dad’s home or my home, although for a while it looked like it was near, and heading steadily towards one of the libraries I work at. But during the whole time, there was all this news about evacuations of nearby areas, or areas that you knew, all these road closures. Skies full of smoke, ash, and eerily-tinted sun. And there seemed to be no real hope that the fires would stop spreading until the Santa Ana winds stopped blowing, which they estimated wouldn’t happen till Thursday. So it was creepy, unsettling, surreal, and I was constantly trying to figure out if I was doing the “right” thing. Should I go to work? Should I go home? Shold I pack my things? Should I drive north and get out of the county? Was “staying the course” akin to a Hurrican Katrina victim saying “we’ve been through hurricanes before, we’ll just wait this one out”? The fires are still burning, of course, but for most of the county the catastrophe looks to be receding.
Oh, and they’ve given this week of fires and evacuations a name:
For anyone who wants/needs continually updated info on the fires, I’ve been relying on the San Diego County Wildfires 2007 blog put on by local news portal SignOnSanDiego, as well as checking frequently-updated fire maps like this one. There was also a pleasant media surprise when local alt-rock station 94.9FM turned its programming over to the local NPR station, which was doing 24/7 news coverage of the fires. Granted, I doubt many people were looking for their Smashing Pumpkins fix when they were scared that their home might be ash, but seeing a corporate station do something for the public good was nice.
Good luck to everybody still facing the crisis, and thanks for the concern and well-wishes.
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