The workings of my memory grow increasingly odd. The Jesusita Fire more or less officially ended a little more than a week ago. It doesn’t seem that long though. This last week feels like a blur. I don’t remember much about it. I think I was recovering from the anxieties and fatigue that the fire produced. So while we were out of the fire, I wasn’t out of the woods so to speak emotion-wise.
The fire was pretty damn transfixing, and why not? From Tuesday to Saturday, when the mandatory evacuation orders were mostly lifted from downtown, the thing burned, in the words of the officials, out of control and completely un-contained. It moved at the whim of the winds and the local officials appear to have had no control over those whatsoever.
I felt pretty confident, I guess–considering the fire was out of control and moving at the whim of winds over which the officials no control–that Carol and I would come out of it unburned. After all, the hills nearest us had been pretty much burnt out in the Gap Fire. But that–considering the fire was out of control and moving at the whim of winds over which the officials no control–didn’t seem to guarantee immunity. And we did know people–such as Brother Dan and family–in much more immediate danger than ourselves.
I felt pretty drained from just watching and hanging on.
Carol bumped into a medical doctor she and I know at the place where she gets her hair done. He gets his hair done there too; he’s a doctor so I guess he has the money to go to a fancy place. And, why not–he has a lot more hair than I do.
Anyway, he endured a harrowing experience. He decided, after telling his wife that he would be right along, to stay behind to protect his home, a well constructed adobe and he had done all the fire abatement stuff as well. Turns out: not a good idea. He got caught in the Thursday night fire storm, whipped up by those winds. He was trapped, as were a number of fire fighters. They all holed up in his house. He believes were it not for his doubled paned windows that they would have all died. They did not burst; consequently fire didn’t get in the house. But they got very, very hot and could hear the oxygen containers on the trucks blowing up. Fortunately, he, as a doctor person, had oxygen in his house, and were it not for that he thought also, they would have died.
He told Carol he wished he had not stayed. He wouldn’t do it again. I think it was one of those experiences–of the kind that happens to people in the movies–that can wake a person up years later in a cold sweat.
His wife said, if he ever pulled anything like that again–you guessed it!-she would have to resurrect and then kill him.