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M

Woke up Sunday in San Diego to an unbelievable scene. Black smoke clouds glowing orange completely consuming the sky. Ash falling like snow and covering everything in sight. Opened the window and the smell of smoke rushed in. It felt like we woke up in hell.

Immediately turned on the news to hear that there were multiple raging wildfires in the area and the closest being about 25 miles away from us. Despite our initial scare we thought since it was so far away it would not directly affect us (or so we thought). After all, we live in a highly populated area far from any rural forests so we should be completely safe, right... Cut to 3 hours later...the main fire is only "5" miles from us. We're starting to get worried. Then we hear that Scripps Ranch (a huge housing development) is burning just up the road from us. Starting to really take things seriously now. An hour later we hear it is "3" miles away and neighborhoods near us are being evacuated. It is heading directly for our house...Holy sh!t

Well at that moment we were ready to bolt with just the clothes on our back but decided we had time to gather things that were important. We didn't know how much time we had but we were going to save as much as we could without actually risking our lives. You start to prioritize things very quickly when real danger is approaching your doorstep.

So, when you know you can't save everything, what do you save? Well obviously the family is first...we were ready. Then gathered the animals "Harley" and "Chopper"... they were in their carriers. Then family photos...boxed'em all up in about 2 minutes. Important documents...gathered in the next minute. Then we had to start making decisions about what other material things were important. We were not officially evacuated yet so we kept going...

It turns out that even under an extremely stressful situation like that, "TIKI" ranked very high on our priority list! While closely monitoring the situation on the news we frantically but methodically proceeded to save virtually every tiki item in the house! We were ready to leave at any moment but kept boxing things up as long as we knew we had time. In the following minutes we managed to box up our entire mug collection (around 200 pieces), along with many irreplaceable paintings, masks, statues, and various other tiki treasures. Then loaded everything into the SUV and were prepared for the worst...

Well, we were lucky! According to the television news the main fire came as close as 1 1/2 miles from our house and neighborhoods as close as 1/2 mile were evacuated. It turns out that the winds mysteriously shifted to the opposite direction just as the fire was getting very close to us. I like to think that our grateful tiki gods had something to do with that. :)

But sereiously, this was a very serious situation for us and thankfully the danger seems to have passed for now. If you've been following the news, you know that these fires continue to be a very big problem for many others in San Diego county (and all over Southern California). As of this moment, we still have everything packed up in our vehicle ready to go on a moments notice, just in case.

We were almost surprised ourselves that our tikis were something that we couldn't bare to lose. I'm happy to report...they're all safe. Oh, and the family is safe too. :)

Be careful out there...

ModMana :drink:

Man, that is one scary story. Watching it each day on the news and it looks BAD. Glad to hear the most important things are packed and ready to roll. Fingers crossed it comes under control soon.

S
SES posted on Wed, Oct 29, 2003 5:05 AM

I think you're right it was the tiki gods smiling on you and blowing that wind the other way!
Glad you are safe!

T

Now you should take all those tikis and do a rain dance around them. Get out plenty of rum. Get out the bongos. Dance long and hard!

I think that Bosko's ranch was very close to the fire as well. Not sure if his home made it.

What's the word on Bosko's place? It's so scrubby and brushy out there, I cannot help but think about him and his wife (and like you, Modmana, I mistakenly think of "citified" areas as being safe!).

I'm glad it worked out well. I was Downtown yesterday and it was freaky. It was very dark with smoke and it was raining ash. Very creepy.
Mahalo,
Al

[ Edited by: alnshely on 2003-10-29 11:44 ]

Just looked at weatherchannel.com, & San Diego might get rain this week! Every little bit help vs the fire.

T

I'm relieved that your home was spared and that you're safe ModMana. I grew up in San Diego and remember the 1970 Laguna fire that burned 250,000 acres. These fires are much, much worse.

Good 2 hear your home was spared. Good ol' Tiki spirits lookin' out for you. That's smart to keep your treasured tikis/stuff boxed in the car. Man I lived in San Diego County for a few years, La Mesa and Poway, and it's freaky to hear about Scripp's ranch and such familiar areas burning. Be careful and good luck!

ModMana,
Glad to know a fello TCer, your family, dogs and tikis got through it OK. Now go out and buy a lottery ticket!

ModMana - glad you, the family, the Tikis and the other posessions are fine. I flew in on Monday, and it looked pretty scary from above.

Ran

Just called Bosko and Truus, the flames came within 50 yards of their house. Fortunately they are safe.. Everyone is fine. They have no power at this time. The fire burned an acre of their property. WHEW! Close call.


[ Edited by: jungletrader on 2003-10-29 19:34 ]

M

Thanks for the kind words everyone. It was an experience that I didn't expect to have and hope to never repeat. We were truly lucky to not be seriously affected by the fire. It could have very easily turned out differently.

I also heard from Bosko...as Jungletrader said, they really had a very close call. Bosko said the firefighters came in at the last possible moment and lit backfires on his property to cut off the advancing flames from the main fire. He says he spent the entire night Sunday putting out small fires on the property after the firefighters left. Most of the surrounding hills and land around them is blackened.

This is all unbelievable. It may sound a bit cliche but until we witnessed it we always thought these things could only happen to other people in other places. Despite it all, we still love San Diego and wouldn't dream of living anywhere else.

ModMana :drink:

ModMana, glad you and yours made it out unharmed. Hopefull any rains will be gentle.

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