Fire Around Fawnskin

Buzz on the Burns
Well, I guess the good thing at the moment is that Fawnskin has a pretty good fire break courtesy of mother nature and the winds are in our favor so far. We are concerned for all our mountain neighbors and my hope is that the past few fires have motivated people to prepare.

I’ve heard reports today that the fire jumped to the south and west of Highway 330 just below Live Oak Drive in Running Springs. The scanner reported that they didn’t know if it jumped 330 but it did jump 18.

Many of the local websites we normally rely on for info are seriously overloaded. You can access http://rimoftheworld.net for incident updates but due to traffic loads I can barely get into So. Cal. Mountains.

Cal Fire is also down but you can reach their info on the site on a temp page http://www.fire.ca.gov

You can see a map of the fires and get useful numbers and other links at http://www.calfires.com

Part of the problem in the different areas is that the power is out and that some of the service providers have been affected. People forget about this. I heard concerns over the emergency call system raised due to power outages. Since I’ve lived in the mountain areas a long time, I have an old phone that works as long as the phone lines are intact.

KBHR reports that mandatory evacuations are in place for Green Valley Lake, North Lake Arrowhead, South Lake Arrowhead, Arrowbear, Running Springs and portions of Twin Peaks. There are voluntary evacuations in place for Rimforest and other areas of Twin Peaks. I got a phone call to say some people are evacuating from Crestline and the Lake Gregory area now.

Evacuees are being sent to the Orange Show Fairgrounds, 689 S. E St. San Bernardino, CA, 92408 and to the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville at Building #3 on 7th Street. Animal Control has established an emergency evacuation center for animals at the Orange Show Fair Grounds in San Bernardino. San Bernardino County Animal Control can be reached at (909) 356-3998.

Online I have not found any updates more recent than seven hours ago. The Slide Wildland fire is reported to have burned 1500 acres and the Grass Valley Wildland fire was reported at 300 miles.

My friend who put me up during the Old Fire called this am. She is in one of the few areas that is not burning. During the Old Fire I couldn’t evacuate to two of the locations I had on my emergency plan because they were on fire or the highways were blocked by fire.

Yesterday was not a good day for southern California. Everyone I have talked to is okay. I have friends in almost all of the areas where there are fires. I hope the fires really calm down today.

Boy are the resources stretched. If you pray–do a lot of it. I hope people were prepared but I doubt it. Evacuation is stressful and doesn’t stop once the dire situation is mitigated–it takes a while to recover.

Here on the mountain getting resources in for those still up here is a worry and challenge with the road closures. Post Master Cynthia told me that over 30 postal offices are closed throughout the So. Cal area just in her region.

I am sure they are getting things together for the firefighters but if you are in surrounding areas you can get donations to the CHP roadblocks and they can get them up. Also, those people who have been evacuated could use help–many were roused at 5:30am and the evac centers are not the most comfortable places. Also, you don’t have much to do but worry.

Channel 6 had someone in the fire area filming footage yesterday. The smoke is thick and made it hard to see in some situations. Radar was falsely reporting rain due to all the smoke. I’ve heard that some times fires create their weather conditions and maybe we will luck out with another one of the snow or rain miracles.

Here in the Big Bear Valley it is quiet due to road closures and fear of fire. The skies are clear–which is lucky.

Moose Buzz
In other news, I dropped by the Moose Lodge last night and things were hopping. We heard that the lodge is also throwing a fireman’s appreciation dinner in November. Some locals had a few comments about all those activities.

Essentially, the comments are that although these events are a nice thought, it is the job of firemen to fight fires and to save property. It means more to those of us who live here–but it is their job and many believe that most have moved on and those who haven’t are working on other fires–so many worry about the turn out.

Personally, I think the efforts would be better spent getting the guys on the lines snacks and other needs right now rather than on the special events. Lord knows they are fighting fires in nasty conditions and it must be especially tough since resources are stretched to the max.

More Musings
In addition to any losses, what will be really difficult for the mountain area is the aftermath. Businesses and jobs will be lost and local commerce slows down in response to disasters. Mind you some businesses will do well but I’ve been through a few up here and it is always hard to recover.

Hopefully, there will be some debriefing and assistance to all the people who have been displaced the mental and emotional trauma affects people in many ways. I remember after the 1992 earthquake–the bars were doing really well!

Cattin’ Around
The amusement of the week seems to be the dock cat who loves moving in and out of boats down at Captain John’s Marina. Apparently she has been going out on short rides and during one of those boat rides she decided she did NOT want to be in the boat any longer.

To make a long story short, she dove into the drink on her own voliation and swam in to shore. The land lover didn’t appear any worse for wear and sunned herself dry.

Social Evacs
I chatted with a few pals who were evacuated from Lake Arrowhead and North County San Diego today. The McDonalds franchise on 40th seemed to be the big breakfast spot for everyone evacuating with animals from around here. It was quite the social scene from what I was told.

One pal evacuated to Murrieta and met up with another woman who had evacuated from Fallbrook. The Fallbrook dog gets car sick–and the whole adventure (and mess) had everyone laughing over it.

People are calmer when they know their pets are okay and it is good to hear that they could chuckle in a time of crisis.




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