Those of you who follow my blog know Jerry and I are temporarily living in Lake Havasu, Az, and that we maintain our home in Crestline which is in the San Bernardino Mountains of southern California. You may be aware that at this moment much of California is burning, including parts of San Diego where two of our sons and many friends and other relatives live. A few minutes ago we learned that in the last few hours fires have sprung up in our mountains, and that all roads to our home are now closed. The residents of the near-by community of Lake Arrowhead have been ordered to evacuate. Jerry just spoke with our neighbor Nancy who says the area is smoke filled and they are preparing themselves in case they too must evacuate. Late Sunday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in seven Southern California counties.
Anonymous submission to uReport@FOXNews.com
Four years ago when we were gone from our home, deadly fires raged through our area, and at that time Crestline was evacuated for eight days. (Edit: “It’s worse than the fire four years ago,” said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire Rescue Department.”) Andrew had just gone from our home when the fires turned toward our place and the evacuation was ordered. He tried to get back to our home for pictures and documents, but was turned away. I have written at other times about challenges from fires in southern California and the involvement of arsonists in these tragedies. Here I wrote about firefighters who gave their lives to fight the Esperanza fire.
I recall dealing at that time with the thought of losing our home, as I do now. The only irreplaceable things of course are pictures and other mementos. Houses can be rebuilt and new furniture ordered, but the losing of our pictures would cause me deep grief. But I really don’t think that is going to happen. Although the whole area is threatened, chances are excellent that the fires will not reach our home or the homes of my family.
Let us remember those who today have lost their homes, though, and for the others who will. “Many people will lose their homes today,” a fireman just spoke over the radio. A couple of hours ago I listened as pastor, Greg Hughes, told of seeing his church burned to the ground. My prayers are with that pastor and his congregation.
Edit 12:20 Monday The source of the problem are Santa Ana Winds which are unusually strong this year.
Southern California wildfires blamed on unusual Santa Ana winds
Article Launched: 10/22/2007 10:45:25 AM PDT
LOS ANGELES—Wildfires breaking out across Southern California are being fueled by stronger than usual Santa Ana winds roaring out of the region’s canyons, scientists said Monday.The fires have killed at least one person, burned thousands of acres and forced hundreds of thousands of people out of their homes.
The powerful, dry winds typically blow between October and February and peak in December.
A stubborn high-pressure system over the Great Basin, the vast expanse of desert that covers much of Nevada, Utah and southern Idaho, fanned at least seven major wildfires this weekend and was expected to last through Tuesday. Typically, Santa Ana conditions last about a day.
“For it to be this strong for so many days is unusual,” said Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
California has been bone-dry this year and many communities have imposed water use restrictions.
Edit 4:30 pm Monday: Our neighbors, Ken and Nancy, have evacuated, although it is not mandated yet in Crestline.
Our son Andrew, his wife and children are stranded in Modesto because the highways to their home in San Diego are blocked because of the fires.
Edit 9:00 pm Monday: All roads into the mountains are now closed, even to residents, although evacuation in Crestline is still voluntary. Jerry just talked to Lex, one of our neighbors, who says the fire is now 3 and 1/2 miles from our house, but the wind at the moment is not blowing in our direction. Lex’s wife was working down the mountain and tried to get home, but was turned back.