Thursday, September 03, 2009

The First Time I...

I am so happy to participate in the celebration of the much-anticipated release of Heather Davis’s debut novel, Never Cry Werewolf!


Heather is as talented as she is sweet and lovely, and I am anxious to crack open the copy I received in the mail! Which actually leads me right into my blog topic under the heading of, “The First Time I...”

For Tuesday was the first time I ever received mail while my neighborhood was under police-mandated fire evacuation. (And I hope it’s my last!)

You see, my foothill home sat on one of the perimeters of California’s biggest and latest wildfire, called the Station Fire. My husband, three kids and I have been in this community for 15 years, and have always known we were at risk for a forest fire, but you know, you never really think it’s going to happen...

The Station Fire started last Wednesday, August 26, near a fire station (hence the name) and quickly went out of control. While the smoke, sound of choppers and ominous skies over our house quickly became unnerving, it was nothing compared to when the fire itself arrived.

Here’s a picture of the blaze cresting a distant (but not too distant) hill on Friday night:


Now it’s about 16 hours later. Hot, angry (yet surreally beautiful) clouds high in the skies on Saturday, right before the flames appeared on the hill behind our neighborhood, and the police did the reverse 9-1-1- call to tell us all to GET OUT:


We packed up and went to a family friend’s place about 20 miles away and stayed until yesterday morning, although my husband and older son did make periodic visits to the neighborhood.

And this picture is from Tuesday, a a shot of the controlled burn that firefighters set to kill off the existing brush and put an end to the danger in my town:


As I write this, the Station Fire continues to ravage southern California acreage, but my little piece of the world is again safe. Endless gratitude and thanks to the brave firefighters, forest rangers, police and personnel who fought and continue to fight this fire!

And let me say that the one positive aspect I found to a scare of this magnitude is it not only made me stop and appreciate what I have as far as family and community and even property, but made me realize that “the emergency system” in my area really works!

So tell us, have you ever been evacuated or had to “batten the hatches” because of Mother Nature? Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Never Cry Werewolf!

Tina

Tina Ferraro
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25 comments:

Tera Lynn Childs said...

Gads, how terrifying, Tina. (I know we were all worried about you!) What amazing pictures, through. Nature sure likes to remind us every so often that we're at her mercy, huh?

And, why yes, I have been evacuated. Twice. By hurricanes Ike and Rita. Waiting and watching and wondering what will happen ... that's the hard part.

So thankful that you got out, stayed safe, and are back.

The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick said...

I'd been monitoring how things were going with you on Facebook and was sending positive energy your way. I can't even imagine how scary that must have been and especially knowing you had no control over which direction the fire was headed. I've never been in such a situation and pray I never will. So glad you and your family are safe!

yabooknerd said...

Glad that things have returned to normal for you.
I never have been in a storm situation, but there are times when advisories have come on with tornado warning which have frighten me - telling people to get into the basements.

yabooknerd said...
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Wendy said...

I live in Florida and of course, this is the land of hurricanes! (and sharks, but that's another story)

Few years back, there was a horrible hurricane season where we literally spent weeks with some stuff packed ready to go if the weather people told us we needed to go. It was so scary! We never had to actually evacuate but to be ready and just running on nerves waiting was what drove me nuts.

I'm glad to hear you and your family are okay. :)

What a Girl Reads said...

That must have been so scary! I can't imgaine how it felt to watch such a huge uncontrolled fire coming closer and closer..

I've never been evacueted - which I'm really grateful for!

Heather Davis said...

Holy crapola!

I am so glad you are all safe and sound. Sorry you had to live through such a terrible event. Sending you lots of hugs.

Heather

Cheryl said...

Tina, I'm so glad you, family and house are safe.

Like Wendy, I too live in Florida and remember very well the hurricane season she mentioned. We had to evac. for Hurricane Charlie because it was supposed to come straight up Tampa Bay - and at the time, I was at the top of the bay. The car pretty much stayed packed that year.

Tynga said...

I am very lucky to live in Quebec, Canada. We don't have many natural disaster.
There was a flood in my area back in 1987 but I was on a trip, so I've been lucky enough so far =)
I've been in a fire though, it had nothing to do with mother nature, an idiot fell asleep while making french fries.

I would LOVE to win a copy of Never Cry werewolf =)
And heather, maybe you forgot, but I never got answers to that interview I sent you 1 month ago.
Much Love
Tynga/Cindy

The Golfing Librarian said...

Like I said over on FB, everytime I'd see an aerial shot of a home with flames in the backyard, I'd imagine that it might be yours and would get a little queezy. (sp?)
When Mt. St Helens lost her top, (my last day of high school, btw) we "hunkered down" not knowing what the ash would do to us if we were exposed to it. I've also had the opportunity to flee a number of hurricanes while living in Tallahassee and Orlando and Tampa. One year I had to pack up the entire Golf Channel video library and send it offsite 3 times in about 6 weeks!
I've also been blessed with the opportunity to go to communities that were hardest hit and help the truly helpless try to piece things back together. Gutting houses, clearing debris, and putting new roofs on houses never felt so good!

Kelly Parra said...

The fires in California this past summer have been terrible. I'm so glad you and your neighborhood got through this and saddened for all the homes that didn't.

Scary!

I just want to shout out to Heather for her new release!!! Yay!!

Janie Emaus said...

Great photos!

No, fortunately, I've never had to evacuate. But we did sleep out in a van the first night after the 1994 earthquake.

Congrats to Heather.

Bonnie Ferguson said...

I'm so glad you and your family are all okay. :)

I've never--knocking on wood--had to evacuate.

throuthehaze said...

Have never had to evacuate but we get tons of hurricanes where I live. It gets pretty bad sometimes...we have gone without power for weeks before.

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Cara King said...

I've never had to evacuate, thank heavens, but I've been breathing smoke for the last week...luckily, all our friends and their homes have survived the fires, and the weather is now helping the firefighters!!!

Emily said...

I am so relieved to know you and your family and your home are safe. I cannot even imagine the stress all of you, and your little kitties, were under during all of this. Like Tera said, Mother Nature is a powerful force.

Heather Davis said...

Tynga/Cindy - I thought I had done all the interviews sent me. Can you resend the questions to me? I've been swamped with this release stuff. :)

thanks!

Rae said...

Glad you and your fam are safe.

We had Hurricanes Rita & Ike, but we stayed home and prayed. We were blessed. For Rita, we only got a little wind and some rain. It headed the opposite direction from where we lived (which is why we didn't leave).

After Ike, we drove around our neighborhood to see the damage. Our damage was minimal compared to what we saw. And, our electricity was only out for less than a day, compared to weeks or months like others. Yeah, we were blessed.

Llehn said...

What a scary, scary thing to go through Tina! I am glad you and your family are all right. I personally have never been evacuated.

Nikki said...

I'm glad you are back home and safe now!
I'm from the coast and lived on a boat growing up so anytime there was a hint of a hurricane we were evacuated. The worst was in high school when I had to participate in the largest peace time evacuation ever (at the time). I had to go to the doctor to get a cast on my arm and after I woke up from some pain pills couldn't figure out why we were in the same place, we sat for 6 hours without moving. It took four times longer than normal to get to my grandparents' house. All that and we didn't even get a hurricane. Better safe than sorry I guess.

Lori T said...

Fires are so scary! I have never had to evacuate. I have been in several tornados, but I have not ever been in something as scary as these fires.

Stay safe.

donnas said...

So glad you are ok and back home. I have never had to be evacuated. But did come close once due to the flooding in the Midwest one year.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Letter Garden said...

Uh, I hate fire!! I commited arson by accident when I was 5. It was terrible! I just sat in front of the burning room and cried, cried, cried. Our house had to be evacuated but luckily only 2 rooms got burnt.

TinaFerraro said...

Thanks for all these touching comments! So sorry for the troubles that many of you have gone through, but nice that we can all share!

Elle said...

i was haveing a sleep over with my friend and the alarm in my room went off(carbon monoxied)it was funny becase before that i was saing the police would come 2 my home.everthing was fine it was a bad alarm. i was funny. when they where cheeking the home me and my friend played with a big stik.