At our usual Thursday night dinner tonight, one of the partners in the firm got called home early by his wife. A good thing, too, since the fire line for the north end of the Crown Fire has by now advanced to about a mile from their house and they've been ordered to evacuate. The aqueduct is something of a barrier but a fire with forty-foot flames would clearly be able to jump over it with only a moderate breeze -- and a moderate breeze, uncharacteristically northerly, is all there is for right now.
The fire is clearly visible from my front yard. I'd say that it's about two miles south-southeast of Soffit House. We've still got a fair amount of territory between the fire line and our neighborhood, but when the tall flames are visible across the entire ridge line of Ritter Ridge, and people you know are being asked to move by the authorities, it's a little bit creepy.
It makes me wonder if we need to pack up some clothing and start wrangling the critters around -- which is a big pain for the one cat, who gets psychotic when we try to put her in the carrier. For now there's no reason to panic, but I've no illusions about the effectiveness of lawn sprinklers and my garden hose to protect my house from the flames of a late-July southern California brush fire if by some chance they are allowed to approach here, so if things get worse in the night, we'll be packing up and finding somewhere to be rather than taking any chances. But as of a little bit after 9:00 p.m. tonight, I'm only "concerned" and not yet taking action.
The house and all of its contents can be replaced; the insurance is paid. The Wife and the critters, however, are precious and irreplaceable. So while things appears safe right now, that can change, which means I'll stay awake for a while and make sure that they don't need to be moved somewhere safe. I'm also noticing some strange noises around the house, which makes me wonder if critters from the hills have come down in panic away from the hills to find safety in the residences. Or if I just have the jitters.
It's worrisome enough that I'm not going to be concerning myself for a while with stress from work (I think I'm over the hump from this week), the Arizona immigration law being mostly enjoined, the very interesting case of the religious student who lost her suit against a public university for not being permitted to base counseling actions in part on her religion, or Obama bringing us closer to the apocalypse. Somehow that's just not as important as whether or not I'll have to evacuate my family and household in the middle of the night. So -- not panicking yet, but yeah, it's a little nerve-wracking.
Updated information about the status of this and other fires is available here.