Sunday, November 16, 2008

Back Fires, Traffic and More

It's pretty late after a long day. Everyone should be asleep, certainly. I can see the flames from the back fires the fire departments are setting to try and take control of this wildfire. I am, however, ahead of myself, actually.

Shortly after the last post, we headed out. It was better the family went someplace that was not right at the scene. We decided to go to my in-laws home. We could at least try to get a little distance physically if we could not mentally. Besides, my mother-in-law cooked up some posoli. Who in their right mind would pass up the opportunity for some good home cooked posoli?

Before we could head west, we needed to get some fuel. No one had eaten lunch either. So, while I filled the tank, Jennifer and the kids ran into the convenience store and picked out some snacks. Snacks and 44 ounce fountain drinks. About two hours and 15 miles later, I wished I had held off on the drinks. Whew, that's some tough stuff! The traffic was not going anywhere. We weren't either. We were on a street near a park. I decided I could wait no longer and had Jennifer come around to the driver's seat while I walked into the park to use the facilities. When I was done, they had only moved about 50 feet. Seriously, the traffic was going no where fast.

We finally got to the in-laws and the posoli after nearly 4 hours. Four hours to go 30 miles. I don't think I have ever had such problems getting someplace ever before. I drive in traffic to work every day. In most cases, I'll spend about 2 hours to go the forty-five miles to work. I've thought about this and I think we've got a lot of planning to do. Emergencies and our highway systems aren't very compatible. We've got major problems in Southern California and the freeways are among some of the more serious.

Before we left to return home, I learned about the back fires. We needed to realize that though we might see the flames of the fire, it was a strategic fire, set to gain control of the wildfire. I've sat here tonight, after helping get everyone into bed - making sure they were comfortable with the situation - watching these fires as the worked their way up from the south to the north along the hills west of our home (out the front window). The fires build up to pretty significant intensity. some flames seem to be shooting greater than 100 feet into the air. Although these are controlled fires, A single ember could ignite yet another fire.

My daughter who spent the day with the band to compete in a field show competition, called me on their way back. I guess the fires were burning pretty close to the Freeway south of our home. I tried helping her to feel better. She was a nervous wreck. I tried to comfort her with talk about the efforts the Firemen were making on our behalf.
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