Our End of the Fire

Thank you all again for the many well wishes.

The northeastern part of the CZU Lightning Complex fire, nearest to our cabin, seems pretty stable over the last couple of days with the fire’s leading edge not moving nearly as fast as it was when it was higher on the ridge. I think that’s probably because there’s more moisture and less wind in the lower elevations. Looking over the maps, it seems like the closest edge of the fire is now somewhere between 1.25 and 1.5 miles from our home. To reach our place, the fire would have to first jump the dozer line they’ve begun establishing on Old Haul Road, a logging trail that runs along the base of Butano ridge. Then the fire would have to jump Pescadero Creek, the most significant stream in our county. After that, it would have to traverse about a mile of big redwood and Doug fir forest before arriving at our cabin. The fire is uncomfortably close, but I’m increasingly hopeful that geography may help save our home.

The winds have also been in our favor since the fire started 6 days ago, pushing it mostly south rather than the northeast direction of our house. But, according to the forecasts, that’s about to change. By Sunday or Monday, winds will most likely be carrying the fire east and then northeast. I’m hopeful that the part of the fire closest to us will be somewhat under control by the time the winds shift or that the winds won’t be strong enough in the lower elevations to push the fire very far through the cooler, wetter forest. I’m also encouraged knowing Old Haul Road is providing the fire team good access to this edge of the fire and that planes and helicopters were able to work the northern end of the fire for the first time today.

I’ve been watching the morning and evening press conferences and there’s not much said about the northern part of the fire which is closest to our cabin. That’s probably because the situation has been far more dire in the central and southern parts of the fire where hundreds of homes are probably already lost and winds are moving the fire across the landscape much faster than up north. My heart goes out to those along Highway 9 and Empire Grade and over in Bonny Doon who have been getting the worst of this fire for the last couple of days.

We continue to sit safely and (and relatively comfortably) in a hotel in Mountain View. We have no intentions of trying to return to our place until the evacuation orders are lifted. I’ll try to keep you all updated as this all unfolds.

Also, today I put in my first full day of work since this whole thing started. It went pretty well.