The fire that began on Monday, Sept. 6, is still burning in Fourmile Canyon, Colo., and is said to be the worst fire in the state to date, with four people reported missing. “The Fourmile Fire has now destroyed at least 135 houses — making it the most destructive fire in Colorado history” write Vanessa Miller and Laura Snider in “Fourmile Fire is now state’s worst in history, with 135 homes destroyed”
Southern California sees its fair share of fires every year during what we locals like to call fire season. In April 2008, a fire was burning in the San Gabriel Valley mountain area, located approximately five miles away from my home in Arcadia, Calif.. While firefighters responded quickly in the beginning to contain the fire, the strong winds and dry climate only helped in spreading the flames across the mountain, which made the fire last for a few days.
As reported in “Southern California Wildfire Prompts Evacuation of 1,000 Residents” by Associated Press, “Helicopters dropped water on a steep ridge… A fixed-wing water tanker also dropped flame retardant.”
The homes that were threatened by the fires were evacuated instantly while some residents, who were allowed to stay behind, tried to save their homes. Those who stayed hosed down their homes heavily in water so that, if they were forced to leave, it would give them some form of comfort that the fire would not burn their homes to the point they couldn’t be saved.
The 2008 Arcadia fire was so thick with smoke that, though the sun was beating down on us, we couldn’t see it; we could only feel the heat from the sun as well as the fire. The streets were gray and our cars, homes, and lawns were covered in a thin layer of ash. During this time, and a few days after, most residents stayed in their homes with air conditioners on so as to avoid breathing in the smoke and ash.
In my home, we put an air purifier in front of a window and left it running non-stop until the air outside cleared up enough not to irritate our lungs when we breathed. We do this every year during fire season, but since the fire was so close to us this time, we often stayed in doors.
Though the fire was in the mountains, there was still a chance it might have traveled down toward our home. We decided, in case we were forced to evacuate, to have important things handy. Since we also deal with earthquakes, and live near the San Andreas Fault line, my family has an earthquake kit. All of our important documents are in a particular place in the house in which they can be obtained quickly if needed. So if we were asked to evacuate, we could quickly grab our earthquake kit and documents then head to a relative’s home for safety until it was safe to return. Thankfully, we didn’t need to evacuate, but at least we were prepared if the time called for it.
Vanessa Miller and Laura Snider “Fourmile Fire is now state’s worst in history, with 135 homes destroyed” DailyCamera.com
Associated Press “Southern California Wildfire Prompts Evacuation of 1,000 Residents” FoxNews.com