Cynthia St. Charles Store

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Evacuation lifted

The evacuation was lifted yesterday at noon. It is astonishing to drive into the subdivision, where a lot of the landscape has been blackened. This morning, Joe and I walked up on the ridge to the west of our home and I snapped this picture, which shows the road leading from our place back out to town. The location of the house that was destroyed by fire is to the right of the rectangular white house near the center of the picture. Only the chimney and front steps remain. The fire is believed to have been started by lightening.

From our home, there is no evidence of the wildfire, though. We live at the end of the road, in a narrow box canyon. The wind direction took the fire another way. Even if the fire had headed into our canyon, our house is cement stucco with a ceramic tile roof. The back patio is cement, as are the front steps and walkway. We do believe our home is unlikely to burn easily from the outside.

Our house might burn from the inside, though, and that is what I feared on Sunday. As we drove away amidst the flames, I realized I had not turned off the cooktop burner. I'd been cooking a big pot of fresh beets for supper when the power went off, the smoke was blackening the sky and we realized we had to get out as soon as possible. Distracted by the tasks of closing windows and sending the kids out the door, etc. I totally forgot to turn off the burner since it was already off.
The power had been back on for quite a while by the time we were escorted to our house by a fire truck to turn off the cooktop on Monday evening. Here is what the pot looks like now. The beets are as light as paper - dry and crumbly. They probably were due to ignite shortly - had we not arrived in time to turn off the burner and remove the pot.

Our house reeks of smoke. Not from the wildfire, but from the beets that were slowly burning in the kitchen. The weather is blessedly cool and we have all the windows open in the hopes that the burnt beet smell will dissipate eventually.


joyce said...

I guess burned beets are better than a burned house. They certainly don't look very appetizing now! I'm very glad to hear you suffered no more than some smoke smell, having been so close to a bad fire.

leiah said...

I'm so glad your house didn't catch fire from the beets!!!