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Last weekend my husband and I got into the car for a leisurely drive and one area that we wanted to see was a nearby lake called Stumpy Meadows. This is one of the areas that was hit hard by last year’s King Fire. Having downloaded the photos, I wanted to share with you photos that I took last July 2014, which was two months before the fire hit. The enormity of the devastation can be seen when you compare the two sets of photos. What is most sad, is that this fire was started by a fellow who had too much to drink and his campfire got out of hand.

The first photo is from July 2014, and the one that immediately follows is from last weekend.

Looking east

Looking east

Looking east 2015

Looking east 2015

Across the lake

Across the lake

Across the lake 2015

Across the lake 2015

Stumps

Stumps

Stumps 2015

Stumps 2015

Looking south

Looking south

Looking south 2015

Looking south 2015

The Point

The Point

The Point 2015

The Point 2015

What a difference eh? And, it is so sad to see the devastation.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope that you have a great weekend. Be well… ^..^

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It has been 6 months since the King Fire blew through our area. Our home was 2 miles away from where it was burning, and we are happy that it was contained and that our home survived. I took a drive with my nephew up Mosquito Road and into the forest. The sign indicated that the road was closed, but we did not come upon any barricades. I wanted to share some photos I took of where the fire burned.

Along the road we could see where fingers of the fire blew through. In other spots we could just see areas from a distance. Here are my photos.

Straight ahead we see a burnt out area

Straight ahead we see a burnt out area

Through the remaining trees we see a burned area

Through the remaining trees we see a burned area

After the fire and rains, the forest floor shows growth

After the fire and rains, the forest floor shows growth

More burned trees

More burned trees

A finger moved up the crest...

A finger moved up the crest…

More...

More…

What remains

What remains

What you have seen in these photos are just a miniscule portion of the area burned. We are hoping that with the drought, 4 years worth now, we will be safe this year. We have already had a fire nearby and thankfully our volunteer firefighters got it out quickly!

Be fire safe no matter where in the world that you are! Thanks for stopping by today and may your Saturday be splendid! Be well… ^..^

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Thursday is the day that I devote to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Writers are challenged to create a complete story using no more than 100 words that go along with the photo prompt provided. Here is the photo and my story, entitled “3-Alarm Fire on Elm Street.”

Fire! - Photo by Roger Bultot

Fire! – Photo by Roger Bultot

A three-alarm fire broke out at 656 Elm Avenue this morning. Fire fighters responded to the call. The fire began on the second floor in the back of the building. Residents of the multi-family home got out safely.

One resident said that he heard what sounded like an explosion, which woke him up. He smelled the smoke, and was able to get his elderly mother, the dog and the cat out before the floor became engulfed in flames.

In the meantime, a local beat cop cited the fire engine for illegally parking on the street during street sweeping hours.

* * * * * * * * * *

Thank you Rochelle for hosting this flash fiction challenge, and to you as well Roger for the photo that inspired my story!

To you, dear reader, thank you for taking the time to stop by today. I hope that you have a terrific Thursday! Be well… ^..^

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I am happy to report that we were given the OK to return home yesterday! This morning the King Fire is 68% contained. It has burned 97,009 acres and they have now reduced personnel from over 8,000 fighting this fire to 7,749. A huge thanks go out to all the fire responders and the support crews!

Thank you!

Thank you!

As you might know we had to evacuate our home. When we went to get back to the house for some much needed medications here is the road block that we encountered.

The road block to our home

The road block to our home

This next photo is taken at this road block looking across the canyon in front of us. Usually one can see the ridges that make up this canyon. Notice there is only one short hill visible when there should be 5 or 6.

Smoky canyon

Smoky canyon

In town, near the staging area at our local fairgrounds, we saw parking lots filled with fire trucks. They were continually rotating crews. We even saw semis that were outfitted as sleeping quarters for these folks.

Staging area at the local grocery store -1

Staging area at the local grocery store -1

Staging area at the local grocery store -2

Staging area at the local grocery store -2

We stayed at a hotel in Rancho Cordova. All the hotels between Placerville and this area were filled with evacuees and fire responders. Here are some of the trucks that pulled in one day. This shot is from the window of our hotel room.

Fire trucks at our hotel

Fire trucks at our hotel

On Wednesday night we had a number of our neighbors call to inform us that the evacuation order for our area was lifted. It was early evening so we remained at our hotel because we could not get the cats from the local animal shelter where we were lucky to be able to house them. Thank you for this too to the El Dorado County Animal Shelter for housing our cats!

Yesterday morning we awoke to cloudy skies, which then led to some much needed rain. We got almost 2/3 of an inch of rain, which certainly helped the fire fighters. We retrieved the cats and headed for home. Still suffering from a cold, we took it easy the rest of the day yesterday.

This morning, with the fire still burning, I wanted to share one final photo with you. This is what the air looked like this morning. It is still very smoky but the wind will blow out to the east later today, which will clear the air until the morning. It makes for difficult breathing when one has a cold!

This morning

This morning

To see a map of the area involved and information about this fire, click HERE!

Life here will begin to return to normal, which means that I will be posting regularly as I have done in the past. May you have a fantastic Friday, and thank you for visiting with me today. Be well! ^..^

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Last night my husband and I were sharing cocktails on our front deck and I went in to feed the dog. When I came back out there was a noticeable difference in the colors outside. Last year when this happened there was a fire and we were seeing evidence of a fire again yesterday. Today I wanted to share photos that I took from our area. We are approximately 17 air miles north of this fire.

Here is a photo taken when we first saw smoke.

Seeing smoke

Seeing smoke

Here is another shot from a different angle.

Smoke rising

Smoke rising

As we watch the smoke thickens.

The smoke thickens

The smoke thickens

Heading inside we turn on the news. KCRA 3 in Sacramento did a fine job of covering the fire for all of us. The next series of photos is from their news broadcast.

From the air

From the air

A house starts to burn. One thing to notice about this place is that they did not create defensible space around their home, which is one of the reasons this went up so fast. The trees are too close to this house.

A house starts to burn

A house starts to burn

A few minutes later, here is the same house.

The house a few minutes later

The house a few minutes later

Here is a property with the fire approaching a fruit orchard. These folks prepared and have defensible space.

Defensible space

Defensible space

One more shot from KCRA 3. This is of one of the airplanes dropping retardant on the fire. The shot is from their helicopter.

Plane dropping retardant

Plane dropping retardant

Heading back outside and looking up, what you see are not clouds but smoke.

Smoke not clouds

Smoke not clouds

Here is a shot as the sun sets…

As the sun sets

As the sun sets

As I sat outside, I thought I should take a photo that shows ash fall. It was coming down in our area like a very light snow. The first shot is when I first sat down; the second is only a few minutes later.

My pants

My pants

My pants 3 minutes later

My pants 3 minutes later

This fire went from 30 acres to 1300 in no time. It is only, as I write, 20% contained. So far this morning we do not see any smoke as the wind is blowing from east to west. We have not yet been told about the cause of this fire.

Where ever you are, we hope that you are safe. And, as Smokey says, “Only you can prevent forest fires!”

Thank you for dropping in and be well!

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Yesterday was a morning like any other. We sat on the back deck with our coffee, figured out what we were going to do for the day, and then I came in to write my blog. I had just finished when my husband remarked, “Do you smell smoke?”

We are ever vigilant here, particularly in the summer months when fire danger is high. Running out onto the back deck we scanned the horizon, and sure enough, right down the road there was smoke. My husband jumped into the car to investigate. He came back two minutes later running into the house yelling, “Call 911!”

I grabbed the phone and relayed the information to the operator, giving them the address, which was two houses down and across the street from us. There was a camper on fire and it was traveling out into the brush. They got on this right away, and we soon heard sirens.

I grabbed my camera and went out on our back deck where I snapped this photo.

From our back deck

From our back deck

My heart was pounding and I felt very shaky. I went up the driveway and looked down the street. This shot shows you how close this was to us. The distance is about 900 feet, or to really give you perspective, about the length of three football fields.

From our driveway

From our driveway

Our neighbors down the street were hosing down their front yards. No one was home at the property on fire. Two of the neighbors went over there and removed the horses and brought them to a neighbors house behind the fire. The fellow there and his neighbor were busy hosing down their properties. Our volunteer group cordoned off the street to divert traffic in front and to the sides of fire. The sirens kept coming.

I went down the street a bit and took this photos from in front of our neighbors house.

Smoke

Smoke

The sound of the fire was loud. I could hear it crackling as brush went up in flames. The smoke coming up thickened.

The smoke thickens

The smoke thickens

I watched as the flames shot up a digger pine. Then we started hearing explosions, seven in all.

We hear explosions and the color of the smoke changes

We hear explosions and the color of the smoke changes

At this point we went and got everything ready in case we had to evacuate our home. This involved getting the dog’s ramp so we could get him into the car, and finding the two cat carriers. We also had to gather together important papers. I headed back outside and up to the street. This time I brought the video camera. Here is a short film of this event. The sound on the film is that of the fire.

The fire was put out in about an hour and a half. A nerve wracking hour and a half mind you! Later in the day after the fire fighters left, I went down the street and took the following photos of the devastation. You might see these photos and the details better if you click on the photo to isolate it and then click on it again to enlarge it. I did not go on to the property but took these photos from the street.

The charred remains of the camper

The charred remains of the camper

Up close to the charred remains

Up close to the charred remains

Another charred area

Another charred area

Here is the same tree which I saw go up in flames. It is amazing to me that only half of the tree burned.

Half of this tree is burnt

Half of this tree is burnt

Hoses were left behind in case this flared up again.

Hoses left behind

Hoses left behind

We were lucky this time. Lucky in the fact that there was no wind. Lucky to have such a quick response by our fire department. Lucky that two other fire stations came to help. And, lucky that we smelled the smoke and reported it. Lucky that another neighbor driving by called this in as well.

What started this fire? The camper had an electrical cord running to it and there was propane in the unit. Conjecture is that there was a short in the cord and leakage on the propane, which is an explosive combination. We will find out later, more likely next week when the community is holding an emergency evacuation meeting.

Again, our thanks go out to Mosquito Station 75 and their crew as well as to those volunteers who coordinated quickly enough to keep us all safe!

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One of the things that we have to do here in the Sierra Foothills is prepare for fire season. This year we have the worst conditions for fire due to lack of rain over the winter. Everything is browning about a month early, and we need to clear flammable materials away from the house. Yesterday we cleaned up two oak trees next to the house.

Here is a shot of one of the oaks before we cleaned up the tree.

Before photo

Before photo

And here is the same tree afterwards…

After shot

After shot

We had a lot of trimmings which we can burn on a day sanctioned for burning of this debris.

Trimmings

Trimmings

This is only a small portion of what we trimmed. We moved most of it over to where we do our controlled burning. Each of these piles is about 5′ high.

Piles and piles and piles

Piles and piles and piles

We do save some of this. I trimmed up smaller pieces so we have kindling for our fireplace in the coming winter.

Kindling

Kindling

And we did get a few pieces of wood for burning. This is only a few of the pieces as we had to quit for the day due to the high temperatures.

Wood for our fireplace

Wood for our fireplace

Fire danger here in the foothills is always high over the summer and we are keeping our fingers crossed that folks use their ashtrays, man their campfires, and that when the monsoonal storms move up here from Arizona, that we do not have any dry lightning.

Remember: Only you can prevent forest fires!

Have a great day and thank you for taking the time to visit today!

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