The fire that was threatening our furniture (and my MANUSCRIPTS) has been officially classified as under control. There’s one worry put to rest. The home that we’ve been waiting to move into is slowly nearing completion. The water and electricity are both working now and the exterior of the building is finished and awaiting the stairways. All that remains is to finish and clean up the interior and hook up the gas.
Good news: my motel has gone to offseason rates so the bleeding has slowed there. And I’m managing to get some writing done. This novel might not be as late as I thought.
I know I’m going to look back on this episode with some humor. I just wish it would hurry up and give me the opportunity to look back.
To recap: We’re still waiting for our new home to be ready for us to move in. As far as I know, my manuscripts are still safe near the edge of that wildfire.
Now another fire has popped up to the west of us, sending a thick plume of smoke overhead. Ashes are falling out of that plume, sitting on things like dirty snow. Some people were trapped by that fire, but they’ve been rescued. Worse than that fire, another one has ignited to the north of us, and is threatening a populous community up there. My niece — the one I have been spending time with during this homeless phase — is just a couple of city blocks from the area under evacuation alert. That is an extremely active fire and the wind is forecast to be strong this afternoon, so her alert could become an order any minute.
This has been a summer of homogenitus clouds, particularly flammagenitus.
The upshot of all this for me is that I will be living in this motel for the foreseeable, since it would be unwise to go somewhere that could come under an evacuation order at any moment. My greatest regret is that I don’t have any accommodation to offer to my niece should she need it.
So far I haven’t heard any bad news about our stuff which is stored in the wildfire zone, so I’m going to assume that it hasn’t been burned up. I don’t think any major structures have been lost in that fire and the efforts at containment appear to be successful. The majority of the smoke coming from the area lately has been from the planned backburns that have been done to rob the fire of fuel. I have always admired the wildfire service and their record at minimizing the damage done by these things, even as they seem to be increasing over the years. Things are certainly different now from what they were like decades ago when I fought forest fires.
I think I will see my manuscripts again and that makes me happy. Now if we could only move into our new home. If only they would get around to installing it so we can. I remain stunned by the bland unconcern and disrespect we have met in this transaction.
I thought I remembered isolating my manuscripts and storing them in a shed far from the fire zone, but that might not be the case. It turns out that it’s most likely that they are in storage mere meters from the fire line. Now I get to gnaw my nails down to my knuckles as I wait to learn their fate.
As for my personal saga, I am back at my niece’s place after a week in the motel. It’s nice to be back and the first thing they told me was that I had better stay longer than planned if I knew what was good for me. I guess I’ll be getting on to the motel to change my tentative booking for next week. It is heartening to know that in the midst of all this it only takes one gesture to put it in a different light. Also, I’ve got a great niece.-)
I’m used to the smoke obscuring the sky and turning the sun into a ruby. I’m used to it being so thick that I can’t see the sides of my valley. But these last couple of days the smoke has been so thick that it’s hazy at the bottom of my yard. It hovers over the river like a morning mist.
Over the last few weeks we’ve had a nice cool spell and a little rain. It calmed the fires, which are all around us, gave some relief to the gasping vegetation and washed the smoke out of the air. It was a nice respite, but it didn’t last. The drought is still on, the temperature has gone back up and the smoke has again filled the air.
I have fond memories of opening the windows overnight to flush the house with a cool breeze. Now we’re reluctant to let in the smoke-laden air.
I’m looking forward to autumn.
EDIT: The drought level has been raised to 4 in my area. That’s on a scale of 5, where 5 is the worst. This means strict water restrictions, but without severe, punitive regulatory action.