Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Still Here and Smiling Now

I am late with this and have no energy for an ambitious post, but wanted to thank all for the encouraging words. We never saw the fire in the valley. It was over the western ridge. But the ridge isn't far away; the smoke was a nasty reminder; and, what news we could get was not comforting. Waiting and watching, searching for updates with details—all were less than entertaining. Having always had a healthy respect for firefighters and a much more personal sense of the role they play in my life since living in southern California, my respect for these people has grown another notch.

The Comanche complex (four smaller fires that came together) is largely contained as of 8:00 AM, today. I found these facts interesting and thought I would share them. This complex was tamed by 35 crews utilizing 30 bulldozers and 136 engines. A total of 1586 people faced the four fires and won. By the time the smoke had begun to clear, 30,000 acres were devastated by the Comanche complex alone.

Here are my favorite facts: All evacuation orders have been lifted in the Tehachapi area; full containment is expected by September 15; injuries—0; structures destroyed—0.

Galen was sick during the night. It would seem that he picked up on the "local" anxiety. He seems quite cheerful now. By tomorrow, I should be ready for puppy stories and gardening tips-or something in that general neighborhood.

Have a wonderful day everyone.


  1. Since a lot of people are relatively unclear on the size of an acre as a practical thing, I'll offer some insight into the area involved.

    There are 640 acres in a square mile. So 30,000 acres works out to about 47 square miles. And that, in turn, works out to a circle with a radius of just a bit under 4 miles.

    Yikes. Glad you're all ok. Glad Galen is calming down.

  2. Steve - Thanks. It has been nice to hear from someone who "has been there". Thank goodness someone is willing to do that job.

  3. Paul - Thank you for all your kind thoughts. Prayers are always welcome.

    As one who may always be unclear about the size of an acre, I appreciate the facts. This helps me to form a mental picture. Yesterday, we had to go the Bakersfield and, on the way, saw the path of some of the smaller brush fires. But, we won't get a view of what this complex did until we take the road to Arvin. It will be a heartbreaking sight, I know.

    I remember well the flood you experienced a couple of years ago. These experiences focus our minds and remind us of how small we are.

    Like us, Galen is tired and a bit subdued, but I trust a great deal of napping today will solve his problems.

  4. Glad to hear you are out of danger (finally). I suggest you take a hint from Galen and get some napping in yourself.

  5. Ken - Smart man. Too bad I am not a smart woman. Never have had sense enough to nap. But, I take it really easy on a day like this one. Thanks for you good thoughts.

  6. Hooray! I'm glad that all is fine and I'm sure that Galen will certainly recover quite well. :) Paul put some perspective on the size, there. That's almost as big as the city of Akron, which is about 61 square miles. Amazing. That puts the size in perspective.


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