I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A week of fear and smoke

We are a few miles from where the Butte fire, in California, started. We live on the south side of Jackson, near the river. If not for a wind blowing east through the Mokelumne River Canyon last Wednesday, I'm sure that we would be looking for burnt pieces of our life in the ashes of our home this week. We were too close for this to have ended any other way. The direction of the wind is the only thing that saved us. Many have not been so fortunate.
We held our breath for two days and finally knew that the fire was moving east, north and south, but not west. On Friday the electricity stayed on long enough to restart the freezer and refrigerator, turn on the air conditioning (temps were at 105 outside), take a shower... and to have a short meltdown of my own. A clean body, hair that doesn't smell like smoke and a good cry did wonders for the stress level. By Saturday, the fire was tearing through the central part of Calavaras County and the small towns that spot the area up there. It raced south and headed for San Andreas and Angels Camp, Murphy's and everything in between. It was also burning toward Pine Grove in Amador Co. The weather was over 100 degrees for days with no humidity. The drought was a huge contributing factor... So much fuel for this monster.
This is the Prospector's second day of helping the Amador Country Animal Response Team (ACART) at the Amador County fairgrounds in Plymouth. He is working most of the day there and was so tired last night... but I heard no complaints from him. Bless his heart. He is taking care of all kinds of dogs, from Pit Bulls to Chihuahuas and guess which one bit him.... the little Chihuahua. Not badly. More from fright. These animals are so stressed... but safe. They just don't understand what has happen to their homes. Carl and Cutter would be the same way.
Yesterday, after a quick trip to the hospital in the valley, I stopped at the Laughton Ranch here in Jackson to give a donation and ask if I could take some pictures. The next blog post will be about my experience at the Laughton Ranch and the wonderful rescue work that is being done there.

14 comments:

  1. Farm Lady. Good to hear from you. Now I can exhale.

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  2. So distressed by thoughts of all whose lives are being devastated by these fires, but thankful that you are safe and your husband is helping the animals.

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  3. It is hard to understand why this happens every year. No way would I live where that was a treat. Such a terrible thing. Thankful your house was not included.

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  4. God bless you. I have been reading about the fires and how very frightening and devastating they have been. I used to live in Idaho, so I know something about wildfires and how very deadly they can be. Thank you for looking after the displaced animals. The news always reports about the number of homes lost and the extent of property damage, but they often neglect to report the loss to wildlife and pets. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  5. glad to hear that you're both safe. sad to hear of the damage done to folks and stock.

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  6. I have been praying for you. Thought you were near the fires. On tv it is shocking seeing how high those flames are. And I thought of the goats. Bless your hubby for caring for the animals. What happens to the wild animals. Good grief take care

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  7. Thank God you are ok, I was very concerned for you there!!! So glad you posted!!!

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  8. I have been seeing a lot of photos of the Butte fire as I follow a photographer who started working for the fire department recently. The images, even without sound, smell and the heat, do convey how devastating it is. The Valley Fire is closer to our neck of the woods and that spread so fast in the dry hot conditions...so bad. The cooling weather is much appreciated and hopefully will truly help those working for containment. I hope you're getting cooler there too.

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  9. Oh, Connie - I am SO relieved to hear that you made it through all right.
    I was actually afraid to e-mail you, and I truly was worried about you, The Prospector, and the critters.
    Lori and I had even texted each other at the exact same time, both saying we were concerned and hoped you all were okay!
    I'm so very happy to hear that you are. I'm just behind on reading the blogs and I forgot to look again and see if you had posted anything yet.
    Please know that we were all thinking of you!

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  10. It makes me feel so helpless to not be able to do anything. I sure wish I could conjure up the rains. I'm glad you're safe and lucky to have dodged the bullet. Keep on truckin' friend!

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  11. So glad to hear that you and your animals and your home are okay. I have been worried about you Farmlady! Bless your Prospector for helping those animals. It is such devastation, I don't want to drive over to Heidi's ever again, because I don't want to have to see it! Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you.

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  12. I'm glad you are safe! What I see on national news is devastating. Glad the winds shifted for you,.

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  13. You're doing wonderful work, and I love your blog. My fiancee lives in Pine Acres (and was evacuated for 5 days), so I've been coming to know and love Amador. She is back home and her animals are all safe. All the firefighters (and the underappreciated dozer crews) did a magnificent job.

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  14. I am so thankful you two were not in the path of the fire! I see you on FB so I was keeping check on your daily posts. So very tragic for so many people...

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