Had one of these today:
Picture from Nebraska Wildlife Service webpage
Got home from getting haircuts for me and Neo. The whole house smelled of smoke and slowly thelight turned orange.
Soon I realized, standing out in the backyard, that I couldn't see the sky in any direction. It was all smoke, and ashes were falling in the backyard. (We live on top of a hill with grassy open spaces all around the house.) Neo came outside to ask, "Why are there fire trucks parked outside the house?" Sure enough, fire trucks, ambulances, police cars, and they were in the process of blocking off our street and the neighboring street to traffic.
OK then. I really don't feel like waiting around for an evacuation order. So I started packing the car with the animals. One dog, three frogs, one snake, four guinea pigs, two kids, my laptop, lockbox, camera, and my purse get piled into the car. I had to go get the third child from camp.
Driving away from the house, I realized that I am not a true Californian. Not deep down in the blood. The hill that burned was near my house, but jeez, it was in the backyards of the houses on the main road. And there are the neighbors, standing in their garages, sprinkling the front lawns. And I'm evacuating the animals. I'm not going to stick around and fight for the house. There's no way I'd be able to pay off repairs on it as it is. Getting the heck out of Dodge is my only concern.
Poor Neo. As soon as we hit a stoplight she burst into tears. How very scary.
But, after a side trip to the District Office, where I knew they had cold water and an ample supply of Advil, we came on home. The whole place smells like smoke and ashes, but the fire's out and we're all safe. (The guinea pigs aren't talking to me though.) Saul is very excited to think that we've gone through our first REAL fire drill. As he unpacked the car he said, "Sorry I took so much stuff, Mom. Next time we practice, I'll know better what to do."
I need a drink and a lie down.