June 1 is the "official" start of fire season 'round these parts and today, when arriving home from a playdate, I heard Lily say, "What the heck? That's not supposed to be there!" Glancing off towards the canyon I saw the smoke first, then quickly noticed the flames. Telling the girls not to get out of the car, I yelled for Mark and dialed 911. He went to work spraying down the area around the play structure while I made repeated attempts to get through to emergency services. Finally I called the non-emergency line and they patched me through, the whole time I watched as the fire rapidly spread across the brush, gaining to the size of a football field in a matter of moments, cracking loudly and insistently while it chewed through dry brush.
Mark had seen a couple teens go down that slope, he told me. Sure enough, we spotted them at the top with an adult, pointing and gesturing below. Within five minutes, the fire trucks were there and within twenty, the whole thing was pretty much over. I let the girls out of the car to watch the fire fighters finish up, knocking back part of the blaze that was hard to reach and approaching a neighbors home. Lily's watched intently, taking it all in. I can only imagine the story she'll have to share tomorrow in class.
One of our housemates was home and he joined Mark in hosing down the brush, marveling later that how he'd always thought that situation would have him gathering items and making a hasty retreat. Instead he made sure his dogs were safe and then took his own position on the line, laying down a defense in lieu of running. Mark had instructed me to make a mental list in case we had to grab and go, but all I could really focus on was where my daughters were (safe in the car) and keeping the dog close. I'll admit I never even thought of the chickens. I finally did think of the external hard drive and the laptop but nothing else really swam to the top.
What's on your list?