Fire Watcher

When I was a young child, say 6-8 years old I used to have nightmares. I would wake up (in my dream) in my bed and the whole room would be in flames. Over the course of a few months or years even eventually I figured out how the fire was started. A homeless man standing in front of the house and he flicked a cigarette into our thick, ugly bushes out front. The fire dreams were horrible. Every where I looked there was orange flames dancing around my bed. I could even feel the heat from the flames. I figured out that most likely the dreams were from stress. What a child stresses about, I have no idea, BUT I was a sensitive child and picked up on other people’s emotions more often than not.

I had to go take pictures at a clients house today and on the way up there we noticed that there was a fire. At first we thought it was Pendleton and they were blowing shit up and something caught fire. As we drove up the hill the thick smoke was bigger and darker. We pulled up onto the main road and everyone was pulled over, fire trucks were flying past, helicopters were swarming the air along with those fire planes. It was devastating to see. There were a few houses that were so close to the flames. My heart goes out to all those people. They are simply living their dream up in the hills and some bastard fire comes and takes away their livelihood. The fire seemed to be under control and we continued on and took the pictures at the clients house. By this time there was that disgusting left over campfire smell (and I usually like campfires) and ashes falling every where. The sky had turned that weird hazy color. It was creepy. My heart went out to those people who were trying to save their homes, the people fighting the fire, and everyone else who was involved in it. I know the fear I felt in my dreams and I can only imagine what the fear is in real life. Driving up the hill.

Turned the corner and WHAM! This is what we were presented with. The fire, yes, looked pretty bad with all the smoke. We could see the black smoke over the mountains. Seeing it so close, as it was, was way too freaky. Watching the smoke billow up through the sky was pretty amazing. Seeing so much smoke and the air planes disappearing into the smoke and coming back out was awesome. It just wasn’t awesome because it was too close to homes and people.

The smoke was so thick. Simply amazing what mother nature can really do when she is pushed far enough.

Every one was pulling over and just staring at the smoke and taking pictures. The tan-ish car in the lower left of the picture was a royal Bitch. She double parked and we casually mentioned that she might want to stay close to her car in case we have to leave quickly and she gave us her award-winning “I am a stuck up bitch” look. Seriously, she double parked in front of us. Everyone must work together in these situations and being rude like that is not going to help matters. Luckily we didn’t have to, but as we were leaving it was really tempting to clip her mirror. We refrained though. Barley.

The smoke just kept coming. As soon as we thought that the fire might be under control this thick, sickening black smoke would start again and we knew that the flames have gotten something else. We could see a guy up on the hill spraying down his property. It was the saddest thing to see. My heart goes out to all those people on that hill.

The sun. The smoke was creeping over the sun and the clouds were amazing.

   Side note, an ugly bug I found while we were taking pictures. He soon was stepped on and smushed into the ground shortly after this picture was taken. Poor guy… but ugh. I would hate to find one of those in my bed.

  The sun later. We left the clients house and was leaving La Cresta when we noticed that the fire had spread and was now going through the valley. Its amazing the speed at which a fire can go. This time we were way too close for comfort and it spooked me way too much. I felt the familiar panic from my dreams and broke out into a sweat. That could have been from how hot it was.

This picture is hard to see. It was hard to take. We were on the side of the road and the flames were flying up this hill. The helicopters were dumping water or whatever it is they dump and one right after another was coming. That was pretty cool. The fire was just too close.

My family and I used to live in La Cresta from 2000-2005. This fire was roughly two miles away from our old house. When I realized how close the fire was, it freaked me out a bit. If I was living there, I would move instantly. I can handle earthquakes and stuff like that but fires, no way. I do not like them and would not know how to react if I was in that situation. Besides panicking of course. I can panic like a champ.

Hopefully the fire only gobbled up dry brush and left all those houses alone.

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