Friday, July 30, 2010

Fire Season is here.

Lightening storms have taken residence in Boise over the last month. I've been awoken a few times to Dan watching the sky flashing with white streaks of light. He thinks it's awesome. I find it terrifying.

I read earlier in the week about fire warnings because of the lightening and that firefighters would be stationed on local mountains watching for strikes and possible fires. Just reading about the possibility of wildfires was enough to stress me out. That was heightened when I walked outside Wednesday and the smell of smoke clung to the air. It was a sweet smell, quite unlike the smell of our fire and the aftermath, which smelled of propane, burned rubber, and charred wood. This smoke also didn't burn my lungs as I breathed in fiberglass as it had almost two years ago.

I knew that there was a fire burning east of here in a more remote location. But I also am fairly smart and understand wind direction. I thought it would be fairly odd for the smoke to be blowing west. One peak at the news on my laptop, and I knew that there was a fire in Eagle (a suburb west of here). Within a few hours I knew that a few homes had been lost.

I'm sad. And scared. We decided to rebuild in the same location to bring some amount of emotional closure to the fire. We would have new memories here. And for the most part, our life has affirmed this decision. But it doesn't mean I'm not stressed about the possibility of fire. We still live next to a field of brush. And while the power company says that they are maintaining it, any amount of brush in that field is enough to concern me, apparent fire break or no. We had a road as a fire break, and it did little in preventing our home from burning down. I just don't know how many summers I can deal with this fear, worried about lightening strikes or power pole surges.

I'm also really sad for the families. I know the devastation, the loss, the emotional wringer that follows. And I want to reach out. I also know how overwhelming the first few days are, and I don't want to overwhelm the families any more than they already are. The reality is that in the big fires, so much help is given, but in small day-to-day fires the community doesn't reach out in the same manner. It's hard for me to reconcile my wanting to reach out in this instance and not reaching out for every fire. It's why I feel so strongly about creating the site for other families who have lost their homes. And that brings me to another point, which is my energy just isn't up enough to help right now. It sounds like a crappy excuse, but I consider a good day one where I can make dinner. Anything else is just a bonus. I'm hoping that others are able to reach out and do more than I am able at the moment.

I also read on the news about the fast-moving wildfires in L.A. It's just such a reminder about the ferocity of nature. Please use this time to prepare in the event of an emergency. Do you have a fire ladder yet (we do!)? Are your smoke detectors working? Have you taken pictures of your house in the event you needed to itemize your content? Do you have a plan to meet in case you get separated? Do you have renter's insurance or are you fully covered on your home? If you haven't had these conversations, please do. I hope you never need to be so prepared. But you just never know when it's your turn. I never thought it could happen to me. It did.

1 comment:

  1. You give some really good reminders that we should prepare for these things. I've been bad about putting my head in the sand on both earthquake and fire preparation--though I've been in both earthquakes and evacuated for the massive fires in San Diego county a few years ago. You've reminded me that I need to be a grownup about this stuff and prepare beyond having copies of all our paperwork elsewhere.