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EVACUATION! The Fire IS HERE!

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Fire In Yarnell! On Saturday night the fire was on the mountain and it lit up the sky to the West of our home! (see previous blog). At that point it was obvious there was no danger to us -- it was fascinating watching the flames leaping across the sky!

Sunday -- the fire had shifted slightly and was making it's way toward another very small community down the road, People's Valley. We drove the short 3 miles to join others in parking along the road watching the planes zooming in, dropping the fire retardant, or whatever that reddish powder is that they drop. The helicopter was busy dumping water and, as no houses were in danger, it was quite the spektical.

We returned home about 2:00 p.m. and I had a few tasks to perform on my computer and did not pay any attention to how the atmosphere was changing outside the home and the blinds were closed to block the sun and heat. About 30 minutes later I was surprised to hear a horn of some type outside our home -- it was the Sheriff stating the wind had again shifted, and he ordered immediate evacuation.

The word evacuation stamped itself on my brain along with FOREST FIRE -- and for a minute I couldn't think just what to do. The I raced to the spare bedroom where I knew one of our cats was sleeping. Luci meowed as I picked her up as she always complains about being picked up; but she didn't have much time to think before I placed her in one of the cat carriers. Angel was the other cat, my rebel, who tries to get outside when the opportunity presents itself. She was sitting on our back porch, but came inside readily enough as I opened the door for her. She wasn't as anxious about getting put into the carrier, but that's life. Amber, the dog, is always ready for a ride or walk, so she was excited and more than ready.

What to take -- what to leave?? It's hard to make evaluations and come up with sound split-second decisions! I picked up medical and bank records, but as the electricity went off I realized I didn't have my car keys. So I placed the papers on the table, grabbing the flashlight and began searching. Finally decided to just leave my car and ride in my husband's car when luckily he found them. Forgot the papers, rushed to my car with the air thick with smoke, vision cut down drastically, and the heat of the fire was evident even at our distance. There was no time to spare as I saw the flames about two homes down from us, looking ferocious and about 40-feet tall.

I worried about neighbors as I drove down the street. The couple living next door to us were very elderly with one in a wheelchair. It was a mass exodus with cars lined up bumper-to-bumper waiting their turn to pull out onto the highway leading out of town.

I am one of the lucky people who have another home, so I had somewhere to go. I know several of the people in my area live there full time. And as I watched the news once I had arrived safe and sound at my home in Glendale, I saw 19 brave fire fighters had lost their lives as they were trapped with the fire surrounding them. So far I have heard 250 homes have been burned, or about half of all the homes in Yarnell. We have no way of knowing if ours was burned, but we are thinking of it as being lost.

Will post updates as they are available.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRECOM 7/14/2013 4:13PM

    So well written. Thank you and good luck.

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SMALLONE22 7/2/2013 4:10PM

    I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can't even imagine what it's like. Will be praying for you and your neighbors as well as the families of the 19 Firefighters. So sad...

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AJINMN 7/2/2013 1:37PM

    I'm glad you and your family are safe. I can't imagine going through a fire, let alone being evacuated. Take care of yourself.

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ARTJAC 7/1/2013 11:09PM

    YOU HAD A LUCKY ESCAPE AT LEAST IF YOUR HOME WAS LOST YOU CAN ALWAYS REBUILD LATER AND YOU AND HUBBY AND ANIMALS ARE SAFE WE SAW THE FIRE ON OUR NEWS 250 HOMES GONE AND 19 FIREFIGHTERS SUCH A LOSS THINKING OF YOU emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 7/1/2013 10:18PM

    Like everyone else. I'm so sorry for you your family, and your pet's. My heart hurts for the fire fighters and their families also. Please keep us informed. Your in my prayers. emoticon

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SKATER787 7/1/2013 5:49PM

    My condolences to the fire fighters who lost their lives and their loved ones. We're glad you got out in time. Hang in there.
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LIS193 7/1/2013 5:39PM

    Eve, we heard to new about the firefighters last night. (we are tin Tucson and getting all the local news) Praying for their families and for the safety of the other.
So sorry you had to evacuate - hope you home will be saved and that you got all your valuables out.
Sending good thoughts your way...

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4_MY_LIFE 7/1/2013 5:35PM

    Eve, I'm so sorry about this. I'm keeping you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers!

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WORKNPROGRESS49 7/1/2013 4:27PM

    So Sorry, Be safe!! emoticon emoticon

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MSFRANKI1 7/1/2013 4:17PM

  Thank goodness you and your husband and pets were able to safely evacuate. Such good news! I was so worried about you all last night.

Our good friends from Ca. who are firefighters are coming over here to stay with us during the crisis of losing 19 of our beloved. We don't know details of memorials yet but I can imagine firefighters from all over the country will be here in Prescott. My heart is so heavy for their families.

As I write this, the fire is still raging with 0% containment. We hear the planes going overhead continuously. Thank God for those brave pilots. For those in Yarnell who have lost homes (possibly yours!) we send our prayers. Feeling so helpless. The Red Cross is ever present during disaster~ we can support them. Still feel helpless. Stay strong dear friend and we are SO thankful you and yours are OK. (edited to correct info)

Comment edited on: 7/2/2013 12:39:00 AM

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COANNIE 7/1/2013 3:59PM

    I am so sorry, this year has been nightmarish for fires. We evacuated last year and it was so scary not to know if we would come home to a house or an empty lot. We were spared, but so many others have lost homes. And then the hotspotters. It's hideous.

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CATLADY52 7/1/2013 3:23PM

    I'm glad you got the kids (pets) and paperwork out when you did. emoticon

It is sad about the firefighters. Even though they are informed of the danger, they still volunteer for the job. I'm sure they will be missed.

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MAURIZIA 7/1/2013 3:21PM

    Glad that you were able to get out safely, along with the furbabies. My heart is so heavy for those 19 firefighters & their families, and for all those living within range of these fires. Prayers for all.

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TRISTAROSE 7/1/2013 3:09PM

    OMG! I am so glad that you all got out safely. I just hope that everyone else did too and that by some small miracle, that your home is still there .... I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers! Stay safe ....

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LYNETTEMOM 7/1/2013 3:04PM

    Dear Eve,
I was watching the news and ran to the computer to see if you had posted. Relieved to some extent to read this update, but mourning the deaths of the firefighters. My dd enjoyed fire cadets and learned valuable life lessons but I was glad she didn't pursue that career.
I also saw on the news that it is horribly hot in the southern USA. I know your Yarnell house was your refuge from the summer heat. We are happy to be having temps in the high 20's C. If you want to vacation and leave AZ behind for awhile, you are welcome to come and stay here. Flood damage means we wouldn't be able to tour all of the usual sights but there is still lots to see and do. My door is open.
Hugs,
L

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DALID414 7/1/2013 3:00PM

    emoticon

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BERTAS_JOURNEY 7/1/2013 2:57PM

    Thoughts and prayers coming your way. I hope everything turns out ok for everyone involved in these awful fires.

Prayers to the families of the firefighters lost.

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WHITNEYTEACHER 7/1/2013 2:37PM

    I'm so sorry Eve. At least you, your husband and your pets were all able to get away safely. I think you've chosen to look, as much as possible, on the bright side. You do have another home and your family is safe. That's the most important thing. It's got to be hard waiting to see the extent of the damage though. Our thoughts are all with you.

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OLDERDANDRT 7/1/2013 2:35PM

    Oh, my dear sweet friend! I was so afraid this could happen!!! Praying all your neighbors got out but that all of your homes were spared!!! Sorry you forgot your papers, but maybe, just maybe you will find them fine just where you put them down! Praying for all the best for you and all those neighbors!! Yes, I heard about the firefighters that were killed. Just awful!!! Sounds like Angel knew something was up and maybe that's why she came in so readily for you!
Thanking God you and your DH and your critters all got out with your lives since that's really what's the most important!
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VITCHY-VICKI 7/1/2013 2:30PM

    Oh Eve I am so sorry to hear that please keep us updated and your in my prayers that your home is ok - and so sad about the fire fighters my cousin use to be one of those guys but he moved to a new fire station and right now he is on vacation so not even there - the Lord was looking out for him
so take cake
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LAC936 7/1/2013 2:07PM

    How sad for all concerned. I hope your family and pets are safe and that everyone finds refuge. Devastating loss for all, especially families of the firefighters.

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WARRIORGIRL121 7/1/2013 2:03PM

    oh my, so sad. so sad. I am praying for all of you. Gosh, I hope your elderly neighbors are ok. That must be so frightening. I will pray for them too.

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BRANDIW7 7/1/2013 1:58PM

    Oh no! I'm so sorry! So glad you and your pets were able to get out safely!

It is so horribly sad about the firefighters, I don't even know what to say...

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