Monday, 9am: Started work for rental returns. Just like any other normal day.
Noon: Got off work, met Boyfriend at his Grandma's to take the boat out on Whiskeytown Lake. Was on the lake shortly thereafter.
1:00pm: Noticed a new fire on the outskirts of town on the way out there, so turned the radio on.
1:30pm: Listened to boat radio to get news updates on fire. Learned it had started off Clear Creek and Cloverdale Roads. Called Granny to let her know to put the news on. Cloverdale, while a long road, is a road that leads to Happy Valley, which is where we live. Called Mom and Dad as they were on the lake as well, and let them know about the fire. Igo school being evacuated to Old Shasta.
From Whiskeytown Lake
2:00pm: Fire now called the Clover Fire. Up to 1,500 acres burned with absolutely no containment. Learned the evacuation area, part of it was about 1 mile east of our house. Called Mom and Dad who had gone home. No power in all of Happy Valley - PG&E turned it off for safety reasons. Road closures being listed.
2:30pm: On our way home, drop the boat off at work, and raced back home. Let me just say that traffic never moves slower than when you are in a hurry. SOOO aggravating. My stress level went through the roof listening to the radio. Road closures listed: Clear Creek Rd at HWY 273, Canyon Rd at 273, Olinda Rd at 273, Gas Point Rd. Canyon and Olinda are two roads leading home. Radio starts listing veterinary offices offering 3 nights free board for evacuation animals and people with acreage offering their properties to horses and livestock evacuees.
On S. Bonneyview Rd. heading home. We are approx. 10 miles from home.
On Hawthorne Ave. We are about 1.5 miles from home.
3:30pm: Fortunately found that Canyon was open and took it like normal. Smoke looks close. Too close. Can see the throbbing orange of the fire. Evacuation area hasn't changed. Parents have truck pulled up to 5th wheel just in case and have water running. Have also pulled important things and put them all on kitchen counter for easy grabbing. Have Granny packed to leave for G's house in case of evacuation.
From our front yard. Not long after this, the smoke blocked out the sun. Couldn't get any closer, road blocks at the evacuation area.
4:30pm: Hear that fire is burning South, wind pushing it South-Southwest. Boyfriend and I pack up for the night to spend it at his Grandma's in Redding, where she has a/c. Not to mention we both had to be at work in town at 7am. Tell Mom to text/call if anything changes.
5:30pm: Neck starts to ache and realize just how stressed I was for the afternoon. Grab dinner. Start responding to Facebook messages and posts regarding Clover Fire. Let family and friends know we're okay and thank them for their offers of assistance if needed and share details learned. Fire burned nearly 7,000 acres. In 4 hours.
6:00-7:00pm: Mom texts me to call Nana and K and let them know we're okay as the phones at house are down. Call Nana and she says, "We have a spare chair if anyone needs to crash." She lives in a one bedroom apartment - but those recliners of hers are pretty cozy . . . Call K and say, "I don't know if you heard about the fire down here . . . " She said she had, had been watching it on the news and was worried about us because all the roads to Happy Valley were listed as "hard closures". Told her all the details that I knew (thank God for Q97 Country Station) and she updated me on Papa D's condition.
7:00pm to 9:00pm: Continued talking to people on Facebook and texting Mom. Power came back on in the evening, PG&E turning on certain areas. No new real updates on the fire.
Tuesday, 6am: Fire well over 7,000 acres. Three firefighters and one civilian injured. 30 homes burned. 50 structures burned. 40% contained. Pictures of fire are released. Not much has changed all day. Firefighters seem to be holding it.
Thank God for firefighters. Without them, this would have been so much worse. Thank you guys for putting your lives on the line to save as much as possible. Also, I know our sudden fire isn't as bad as what has been burning around Yosemite, and I hope that they can contain that in under the two weeks they think it will take. But this is the second massive fire in Happy Valley - we had one in '99 that ravaged it, burning more than double the homes and structures. It's brought a lot of flashbacks and some people lost their home for the second time.