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2020 Fire Season

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I have been asked by other friends that couldn't access my journey during the CZU Lightening Complex Fire. Here it is: I'm now home, and safe with my go bag at the front door. It's been quite a journey. Friends, family, and strangers have been amazing. There is always a bright side in the hardest of times. A sheriff friend checked on my home and my two neighbors homes 3 times a day to make sure everything was still standing. He made sure my hens had water and food. They were let out to forage for them selves, and dined on my veggie garden. 
My outdoor cats survived as they have great hunting skills. Dogs were with me the whole time and my 2 miniature horses ended up in Grass Valley with friends....they are still there for the moment. We set up a "Gypsy Camp" in my neighbors office parking lot. There were 4 horses, 6 dogs, 5 cats, campers, jeeps, trucks, tents, teenagers to us seniors. Had all the necessities we needed. Clean water and a Quick Stop right there....who could ask for more. The horses attracted the curiosity of people that were walking by and they brought organic apples and treats for the animals. It is interesting what people save from their homes with the thought that it might be a pile of ashes upon return. One kid lined his dashboard of his jeep with the cactus he is passionate about. The guy that can fix everything and anything packed his boat with chain saws, tools, and survival gear. One man saved his baseball cards...must be quite a collection. We had a fireman's family and the family of a local sheriff with us. I felt like I was at ground "0" as we listened to the days events on the mountain every evening while having a glass of wine or 3. I left with the cloths on my back, my horses and dogs, a sleeping bag and pillow, important papers, and a tooth brush. There was no time. We were all very fortunate that in the end, none of the people I was with lost their homes. I think the big lesson is that in an evacuation, take what is going to make the following days (no matter how many those might be) take what is going to make your life easier....the things that we have collected over the years is just stuff. When I left my home, I thanked the Universe that I was able to live where I do for as long as I have, Blessed my home and all that it contained, closed and locked the door on that part of my life and drove away. I fully expected to come back to a pile of ashes. I was one of the lucky ones. There is so much to be thankful for. There are many stories to tell of this adventure. All heart warming. Thank you all for your well wishes. It really means a lot. Take care everyone, be mindful, and stay safe and stand tall. We are resilient and the sun will shine tomorrow.

 I would really like to gather the stories from the real warriors of this event...The retired fireman in Bonnie Doon that saved that town with their own bull dozers and water trucks when the CDF made strategic mistakes by underestimating all of these men....The men in Boulder Creek that were given a call to help save a friends home. 11 showed up, saved the home, ultimately saved the town of Boulder Creek on two fronts, were about to get arrested when the Boulder Creek volunteer fire department hired them to help fight the fire...again CDF underestimated the passion of these men....the numerous guys who used to be on the volunteer fire departments and had moved away, flew in from all over the USA to help save the BIG REDS and their towns fight the fire, again underestimated by those guys supposedly in charge.....The retired fire chief in Boulder Creek warned CDF that if they didn't block a specific drainage, there would be no way to stop this monster fire and it would burn clear through to Santa Clara.....They didn't listen, that was dumb, so Sam got ahold of a dozer and made a firebreak himself.....this is after CDF for what ever their thoughts were, told these men they were on their own. Now as you can imagine, that didn't set too well in our little towns. Those are the real stories of this event. So many stories, so many wonderful brave people, so many people to be thankful for. Dang I am one lucky woman that dodged a really big bullet.

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Wow! So much wisdom in every word. Well maybe not cacti on the dashboard (hard break could be unfortunate).


I do hope you gather and publish these stories. What is C D F? I think I can guess but wondering.

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CDF means "California Department of Forestry." They help fight the fires, and bring in the BIG guns......helicopters for water drops, planes for flame retardant drops, big bulldozers, big water trucks, set up big staging areas. When they come in, they take charge. All is a good thing, but like most state or federal agencies, have a hard time working with the local departments. Maybe everyone needs to go back and remember what they learned in kindergarten....we all learned to play well with others. It is interesting that I keep hearing on the news that these fires are due to climate change, which I believe is definitely one component. The other component is forest management....both the state and federal agencies have failed on that front. There are 100 years of fallen slash that hasn't been removed or controlled burned in our forests. The lumber companies play a part in this as well. I believe it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that when the lumber companies come in and cut trees down, control burn that area and then replant. That would help a lot. Here in California we are witnessing the perfect storm with these components of lack of forest management and climate change. I wonder if the management was done properly (and they know how to do that) if the fires would have spread like it did and are. Oregon has the same problem. I heard that the head of CDF in one county is now getting advice from some of our native tribes in the north that have been control burning in a specific pattern, like a checker board) for centuries and have things under control. Of course the powers that are in charge have put these folks in jail for starting fires...now they are going to them for management advice. Maybe we're finally learning from those that live closest to the earth and nature.....the wise ones.

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Interesting. I don't know if we have any thing equivalent or if it's all local.


We have some property in New Mexico and are well aware of the 100 years or so of backwards forestry policy in the West. There is even a Meme out there showing how the fires just stop at the Canadian border. Funny that. Each fire season I think there will be a wake up and better management. Maybe this time. It would be great if they figure out a new way before nobody remembers the old ways.


That said a few years ago there was a strange mass arson event in Australia. Seems like it's come to our West. Unfortunately a lot of news on arsonist arrests. I think being locked down and socially distanced for 6? months is making people crazy but that is no excuse.


I am glad you are safe and hope Allison, Kim and all our community are safe and well also.


Such a terrible thing. Heart breaking.

Edited by Sherab
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