Monday, September 12, 2011

The Kern County Mountains are on Fire

Saturday afternoon while we were in the middle of the marathon of decorating and rehearsal leading up to the kids wedding Sunday, we were informed that there were about 50 small fires burning near our home that had been started by a series of lightning strikes.  As you can probably imagine, we were a little anxious to get home.

As we made our three hour drive toward home, we were shocked by what we saw on both sides of the 58 freeway, burning in our Tehachapi mountains.  It looked like a lava flow heading down the mountains for several miles from the top to the bottom.  The smoke was so strong that our throats and eyes were burning.  As we drew nearer to home, we remained in contact with friends that kept us updated about the situation.

Our small community was told by authorities to be ready to get the evacuation call IF the fire crested our mountain; and it did, but something incredible happened.  RAIN.  Lots of it.  By the time we arrived at home around midnight, the flames on the top of the mountain overlooking our valley, were dead.  Ask me if I believe in miracles and I would have to say yes.  This weekend, I witnessed yet another one.

There are still more than 10 fires burning near our valley, but so far, we are safe because of the efforts of more than a thousand firefighters.  In fact, little Tehachapi is hosting them and their equipment as they continue to knock down these fires.  Today, I took a few pictures to show just how many of these brave folks are up here working the fire lines on long shifts, away from their families and homes, keeping us safe.

Where I took this shot sat 5 helitack helicopters refueling to go back up.

Click on image to ENLARGE to see just how many vehicles are sitting in this field. It's amazing.
CLICK on image to see the row of fire trucks and mess tents set up to feed firefighters in shifts.
This week I have seen fire trucks from allover this state converge on my town to save our homes and families I've seen vehicles and personnel from many state and federal agencies to include the California Department of Forestry (CAL FIRE), the Bureau of Land Management, and a few from Nevada too.

My heartfelt thanks go out to the many men and women fighting the fires burning in Kern CounPublish Postty tonight.   

We are praying for you to stay safe as you do your job on the steep terrain and in the unusually hot, humid weather here today.  Thank you for all you do.

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