A personal report from author Claire Fullerton who had to evacuate her Malibu home as the fire approached within touching distance. After three days she did find that her house is still standing but residents are unable to return to the city without water and power. A terrifying experience, the more harrowing when not a news report but from someone on the ground in the line of fire. Here is an extract from Claire’s post and please head over and read the remainder.
We’ve all heard the expression, “Life can turn on a dime,” but I know so few with a frame of reference that makes good on the claim. And I’ve always wondered to what degree events turn before one owns the adage personally. Certainly the death of a significant loved one falls into the justifiable category, where life as one has known it is inalterably changed. There are other examples, but not many.
I have a feeling I’m standing on one of those dimes, but have yet to intuit the fallout. As I write, there are torrential fires where I live in Malibu, California. At the moment, I’m an hour away in Santa Barbara, where the sun takes center stage over this Spanish-style, manicured town, with its one-way streets apportioned in terra-cotta, wrought-iron and stucco. Were it any other time, I’d be wide-eyed and skipping along downtown’s State Street. As it is, I’m disillusioned and displaced– it’s a feeling unlike any other. I took a walk this morning on the city streets, longing for terra firma because I didn’t feel grounded. There’s nothing more unbalancing than a threat to one’s foundation. No matter the location of your feet, a threat on one’s home effects the head.
I’m six whirlwind days into this now, pausing for the first time to assess. I’ve been on the move with two dogs, a cat and a husband; it took us a while to secure a base.
Last Thursday, there were fire reports in an area separated from Malibu by the arid, Santa Monica Mountains. In the cyclical drought of post-summer Southern California, fire conditions are ripe, in conjunction with the Santa Ana winds, which rage seaward from the desert at 30 to 40 MPR like breath from the hounds of hell.