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California Wildfires


Staff member
In Oct. of 2008 my wife Vicki and I had our first experience with Calf. Wildfires when we were driven from our home at 3:30 AM. We were evacuated for 3 days not knowing if we had a home to come back to. I do not wish such an experience on anyone. Well, it happened again this past Tuesday at 4:30 AM. The Santa Anna winds were blowing with gusts over 50 mph when I got a call at 4:00 AM from my neighbors. Looking out to the north the hills were lit with an evil red glow and fire. I went to my front door, looked out to the west and had fires coming right at me. All I can say is my heart sank.

Vicki and I grabbed our dogs, picked up a few things and evacuated down the canyon we live in. We spent half the day in a parking lot of a 7-11 store drinking coffee. When we decided to seek shelter in a motel or something we could not get out of the area because all the roads and freeways were closed. Thank God I heard from Rich Sarradet and his wife Gloria to come up to his home in Topanga to shelter. We had to "escape and evade" and find a route out to begin our trek to his place. Well, we did and for the next couple of days we and the dogs spent with him. (I LOVE ya Man!) One of my neighbors is a fireman and I was able to contact him. He let me know our home was find. Thank God! In my area of the canyon however, we lost close to 30 homes. Thank God no death or major injuries .. but this being horse country we did loose close to 30 horses to the fires. Once again I re-learned two lessons ... Life is precious and precarious .. and let your friends know how much you love and appreciate them!

We returned home Friday and other than major cleanup .. we survived the experience. I did loose one huge Agave Cactus but small stuff compared to what we might have experienced. Just a FYI ...

As a firefighter in a major fire prone area i know what you are going through, glad to hear you and the family are safe.