Brush Fire Update September 7

Yesterday, September 6, a small brush fire broke out around Camp Stanley, a nearby military storage facility. It was largely contained and made safe overnight, but this afternoon the fire broke out again and developed a new size, scale, and intensity. It neared Camp Bullis, an operating military base, and also came within a quarter-mile of private residences and an elementary school. The fire threatened an electric substation so our power was intentionally cut off from 4:40 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.

Here’s a map (click to expand):

We're about 3 miles from the wildfire.

Again, the fire has apparently gotten under control tonight. They said the same thing last night–something for us to bear in mind–but by 7 p.m. news helicopters could no longer see flames. Black Hawk helicopters and five airplanes had joined the fire crews on the ground and the small number of evacuated residents were being returned. Part of our luck is the wind–or lack of it–blowing towards the south and (largely) away from us at about 8 miles per hour, tops. Only the smoke, once it rose to a certain level, came drifting our way. The garage does smell like a terrific barbecue.

And the pictures are certainly striking:

The view from my street.

The view scared a lot of residents. My own parents were divided by a major attitudinal chasm, to wit:

Mom: I’ve been loading all the photo albums, passports, important documents into the van.
Dad: Since the power’s out, should we put some burgers on the grill?

Burgers prevailed (and were delicious), and although I do still have a bag half-packed in case of an emergency, I don’t anticipate using it. Right now I’m back to my usual plummy lifestyle of sitting on the bed, blogging, listening to Lutoslawski, and thinking about sleeping in. We’ve temporarily escaped a fire which, today, took out 125 acres of grass and trees.

But it’s not out yet. And there is, of course, no rain expected for at least a week. So watch this space.

The view from my back porch. By the time we sat down to have our burgers and chips, almost the entire cloud had blown over and the sky merely had the quality of a sort of yellowed stain.


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