With over 800 million people evacuated from the California wildfires, the media is recognizing this as one of the biggest disaster migrations in U.S. history, second only to Hurricane Katrina. Nearly 3/4 of the people in my life live in Southern California and nearly all are affected in some way.
I spoke to my pal, Sharon, yesterday who lives in Encinitas (San Diego County) but had been visiting her sister in Long Beach. She called her neighbors who told her, "Don't bother coming back, we are all being told to leave." Like so many of us, all she can do is wait.
As for Chez Clisby, still no final word. There is no one up there but firefighters and they are ... um, busy. My mom has a friend, Jason, who is a volunteer firefighter and lives in nearby Running Springs. He has the cabin's address and has promised he will check on it when he gets the chance but since RP is suffering hefty damage, we assume this is not a huge priority right now.
The map above indicates that the town of Green Valley Lake is literally surrounded by fire and our cabin is likely somewhere in that circle. A report I read this morning did not lift my spirits:
"While firefighters are risking their lives trying to save homes, there have been dozens of reports of looters across the mountains. Deputies have not been able to confirm many of the reports, but there have been some arrests. Even worse, authorities made an arrest of a motorcyclist who was allegedly witnessed trying to start an arson fire near Camp Seely on Tuesday evening."
Meanwhile, I've got that familiar Hurricane Katrina-feeling - a sense of dread that things will get worse before they get better.
UPDATE: My mom just sent me this image below, detailing the extent of damage in Green Valley Lake. Our house is on Wild Cherry Drive and so far, in the blue, meaning intact. Click on image to enlarge.
Still, with fires blazing all around, we are nowhere near in the clear. Also, we are deeply saddened by the loss already suffered in this little town. GVL has always been a hidden SoCal secret, happy to stay unchanged in the shadow of Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. Looks like it is going to be even smaller now.