Friday, November 14, 2008

Tea Fire Continues

Ed. Note: As before, times are listed in Pacific Time, regardless of the writer's location.

3:55am My laptop power issues are now assuaged, but the fire is looking significantly worse this morning. The acreage burned is up to 2000 acres. At least 80 homes have been burned. There is no sign of the winds calming down at least until the weekend. That's at least a whole Friday to continue being blown around, when the fire has already gone zero to two thousand acres in 10 hours.

4:22am This morning's plan appears to include about 20 fire-fighting aircraft to supplement the 500 ground personnel from all around the area. Let's hope and pray that's enough to keep the fire out of the densely populated part of the city that the fire seems intent on blazing through.

5:03am Apparently, the helicopters are running in the night by using night vision technology. That has had a significant affect on the spread of the fire through some tree groves. Amazing what they can do.

7:20am The cities are now requesting that people curtail their water usage. The water reserves for firefighting purposes are dangerously low.

8:03am The current main risk to people in the area is breathing of the smoke in the air causing respiratory issues. Worse than run-of-the-mill smoke is smoke from burning poison oak, which is common in the burn area. Inhaled, the toxin does really bad things to the inside lining of the lungs.

9:03am The latest press release says there are 650 firefighters working the fire now. It's not expanding at the moment, as the winds are much calmer. However, we're still talking about 100+ houses destroyed, and a 3000 acre burn zone. And, of course, this afternoon is the big litmus test for how much they've actually gotten it under control. With the mandatory evacuation line just two blocks from our house, we'll be watching this afternoon very closely.


Stephanie said...

I don't know what's worse...being there and seeing what's happening or not being there to see what's really happening. I'll go for the selfish thing, I'm super glad you're safe. Sending lots of prayers out that way, I know those folks are working hard and doing their best.

James said...

I'm glad you and GB are safe. I hope your home is too.

Heather said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts. Much appreciated during the recent high-stress days.