Saturday, August 29, 2009
Crying for My Mountains
The Station Fire in Southern California is burning in the mountains behind my house. The picture above was taken from my street. These are the mountains I hike in. The ones that have been facing me my whole life—the view from my parents' kitchen; the view from my driveway. The mountains that provide a sense of comfort and security.
That's a tanker plane doing a drop. The fire has been burning since Wednesday, but it thrashed down my side of the mountain like a wild man today. We have friends who have been evacuated. My brother, a firefighter, and dad, a wannabe firefighter, are way up the hill with a dear family friend, standing watch on his house. They cannot get down the hill, but they have a plan in place in case they become surrounded. They want to save the gorgeous million-dollar home—the home to 5 daughters and many memories.
That's the view from my street earlier today. It's not as close as it looks. My apartment is not in danger. But other homes in the area are for sure. I cannot imagine packing my things to evacuate. I cannot imagine making the decision what to take and what to leave. Photo albums. Computers. Souvenirs from traveling. Maybe some books. I cannot imagine locking the door behind me not knowing if I'd be able to return.
As I was driving home from Pasadena today, and I saw the clouds and flame from a distance I burst into tears. It looked like a warzone to me. This dark cloud pitted against bright blue summer sky. I started to think about everything getting scorched. The wildlife being destroyed. It breaks my heart. My mom told me a coyote wandered into the front yard this afternoon and I almost lost it.
I've heard rumors that they suspect this to be arson. Arsonists should be tried in court as terrorists as far as I'm concerned. This is striking terror in an entire community. I hope to God they get a handle on it soon.