|Helicopters fly to and from the Quail Fire in Alpine|
We have heard the helicopters fly back and forth all night. It has become an appreciated sound in light of this fire. Earlier today, the mountain was shrouded with clouds and rain ensued. It cooled things off considerably, but hampered the effort from the planes and helicopters due to the weather. Reportedly, this is a mixed blessing because it helps to cool off the overall area and provided needed moisture, but it also makes the ground slippery and muddy which hampers the ground effort.
I saw a news story on a local television station talking about folks donating drinks and food to the fire department in another area. I love the spirit of volunteerism in our state....it runs rampant...as it should.
So, Rooster Senior and I made a trip to the big box store. We took our purchase to the Highland Fire Station. The machinery had just been cleaned and the Firefighters were trying to relax inside. As we spoke with them for a moment, one of the Firefighters told of his first encounter with the fire.
This brave Firefighter stated that he lives in Alpine and reportedly got a call from his wife about the fire. He reportedly drove directly to the site and began the "Urban defense" which is to protect homes etc. He said he saw the fire when it was relatively small. He then became focused for about 10 minutes on needed tasks, and then looked up again. He said in that short time the fire had spread to the bottom fourth of hill/mountain and was advancing alarming fast. He said the fire was 'scary' and dangerous.
I learned that the local Fire Department works with Federal Governmental Firefighters, but have different roles. The 'Feds' protect the land and the forest, so they are in the trenches of this fire now. As of 6 hours ago, the fire was 10% contained. The local Fire Department is responsible to protect homes and structures.
I have addressed some of the areas that we have found to be lacking in our own family preparations. I still have things I am thinking I want to consider. Officials have evacuated up to 350 homes, but have allowed a number of families to return. I am hopeful that if I had 15 minutes to evacuate like many of these families did, that I would have been ready.
Please don't forget the brave Firefighters and their support teams that are addressing this and the other terrible fires in the west. It is a needed, but dangerous profession and we need to find ways to show out support....even if it is just a card of thanks or a few snacks showing them that they are appreciated. Consider doing something as a family to show your support and appreciation, no matter where you live.