So most of you guys have probably already seen this on Idgie's journal, but we nearly got evacuated by the Freeway Complex Fire that's apparently made it onto the national news over the past few days. There were two insanely huge fires in the LA area this weekend, the Sayre fire and this one, which started in Brea (where my office is \o/) and spread toward Chino Hills and Diamond Bar (where we live). Idgie's put up a recap of events here
and I have a few pictures from the first day (Saturday) up on my Plurk (which you guys should join if you haven't)
Other than what Idgie's posted and what we've been updating with on our Plurks, there isn't much more to say. We're finally safe now; the evacuees (which came as close as a city block away from our home) were allowed back into their homes early this afternoon. We've spent the last...six hours or so putting everything back in its place.
It's kind of amazing how quickly you can realize what does and doesn't matter, when you're forced to choose what parts of your life you're going to keep. Like Idgie said, we were nervous all of Saturday, so we finally started packing a while before we passed out at about 2a. We grabbed some clothes, mostly ones that were irreplaceable and/or had sentimental value (like my old trenchcoat and some tees), our traveling toiletries bag, and some of the electronics that would have been really difficult to replace (the XBox 360, the Wii, a box of peripherals and a--probably incomplete--stack of games that was already sitting out, the Rock Band guitars). We left the TVs, took only our CPUs (even the cords got left behind; at least it made it super easy to hook them back up again) which have all our photos and things. I grabbed my copy of Absolute Sandman, my signed copy of the Graveyard Book, a few signed DVDs (leaving my 300+ DVD collection would have hurt ._.). I remembered Idgie's Bose headphones but forgot my own. XD Grabbed my Zune and our two cameras, the DSes, what little cash I had in the house (my doujinshi collection >_>)...and that was about it.
There was time to get more (like Idgie said, we spent a great deal of time just sitting around, and even my tiny MINI still had lots of room to spare) and really, we did get a LOT
. It's not like we would have been completely destitute if the worst had happened, and hell, this probably sounds really horrible
since so many people, mostly in the Oakridge Mobile Homes, didn't even get a chance to evacuate and DID lose everything. But considering how much STUFF we've collected over the years, stuff that I CLING to for sentimental or just packrat reasons, and that I really could have been happy with just my CPU, my Zune (NEED MUSIC), and my DS (...and Phoenix Wright games) I was really kind of surprised that I just...didn't really care about the rest. We only really took half of the stuff because it would have been extremely expensive to replace. Even the stuff with sentimental value really didn't mean as much as I thought it did. Maybe this will help me learn to stop hoarding bric a brac like it's a fucking mound of gold.
So anyway, now we're safe and sound and looking forward to a routine day of work tomorrow. I'm wondering if the fire got close enough for me to see the damage when I take Brea Blvd. in the morning, both that and the 57 (that runs parallel to it) were shut down most of the weekend. The only things Idgie didn't talk about were the few minutes where Nicki and I went to gas up our cars, after filling them with the stuff we wanted to keep, and the weird calm everybody was displaying while people were being evacuated. If you looked at the people around on Saturday morning, you would have had no idea these people's homes were on the verge of destruction. O_o
As for the gas trip on Saturday, we went down to a gas station right on Brea Blvd. after having packed four cars full of family photos and things. We were expecting to be evacuated any minute, and the drive was a little nerve-wracking. On the way we came across six fire trucks lined up on the other side of the street. Like I said, Brea was closed because the fires were coming from right down that direction, and the trucks were waiting just a block away from it. As we approached they suddenly lit up, sirens blaring, and all six or seven took off down the road. I thought that was it. We rushed to the gas station, where I did extremely stupid things like paying inside because I didn't think the pumps I was at took credit cards, only to find the card slot was on the side (and why the hell would the card slots be out of view of the car?!) and paying for $30 and only getting about $24 cause I still had a quarter tank (I drove off without getting change XD;;;).
I followed Nicki to the 7-11 past our house, and as we were going in we saw about 10-12 police cars shoot past us toward Brea, their lights and sirens screaming. It was frightening, I really thought we were leaving at that point. Afterwards, the hours we sat around doing basically nothing were ridiculously anticlimactic. >_>;;; But we didn't want to leave until they told us to, and while the multi-million dollar mansions in the Country Estates (less than five minutes away) were evacuated, and the evacuation area kept widening throughout the day and into the night, it stopped just a block or so away from our house. We were so damn lucky, if the wind had picked up at all the entire area could have been threatened. Thank God there weren't any houses between Brea, Chino Hills, and Diamond Bar, and thank God the weather stayed calm.
Today we were mostly out of the woods. We were only waiting for the evacuees to be allowed back into their homes, the last sign that the fire was under control enough that even a change in weather conditions wouldn't be a major threat anymore. We went to Chili's for lunch, then Target to pick up some air duster cans to clean out our CPUs (for the first time in, like, years) before we plugged them back in. There was a small group of firefighters in the parking lot of the church next door, a couple of big trucks and a couple fire chief trucks, along with a little open tent thing. Must have been a resting and waiting point or something. As we drove past Target we saw a couple firefighters leaving with some bags, still in their yellow jackets. We clapped at them as we passed, and they smiled back. It was just a really good moment.
Okay, enough rambling. Now our room is nice and clean (and even vacuumed and the bedding is washed!), our CPUs are dust-free, all of our belongings are completely put away, and we're off to pick up a celebratory dessert before going back to Weight Watchers tomorrow. I think we're both going to need a couple days to rest up, but we should be right as rain soon. Even the ash has mostly left the air (I swear we got more ash on our cars the first time I visited, and those fires weren't nearly this close). And I have my Idgie, and all is right with the world. ♥