I think my mind is still trying to process the catastrophic wildfire. I was riding along on my bike on a perfectly normal Saturday when I smelled smoke. Very soon, as I hurried home, ash was falling on me from an inferno started by transients who didn't put out their campfire. The fire was huge within an hour of starting, as you can see in the photo.
As you all know, we evacuated. At first, we couldn't even get into the nearest town because so many roads were closed. Then, a road to town opened, and we took it. The road wound below hills that were still burning. The dark brown line below the burning area was the fire retardant from a slurry bomber. It worked and held back the fire.
In town, the air was clear because the wind was blowing the smoke the other way. However, it was clear that it was a town under siege. Helicopters dipped their buckets into a reservoir.
So many helicopters were working that their paths sometimes almost crossed above the reservoir. What tiny little buckets compared to the huge fire!
The media also appeared everywhere, interviewing evacuated people as they tried to relax in coffee shops. They made their reports from in front of the reservoir.
At home, every photo that my trail cams captured of wildlife showed them moving fast in one direction or another. I'm sure that the smoke and aircraft noise was incredible. They looked like they were very stressed.
Our local firefighters were told to go home after the Feds took over the main fire fight. Local firefighters patrolled the evacuated areas for flaming embers flying into our area and starting spot fires. I can only imagine how scary all of this was to the wildlife. Here was Socks, a bear on a mission at the height of the fire. I'm so grateful that she is okay.
I am also worrying about Shyla. I've learned a bit more about what happened the other night, and it could have been a sign of a rare form of epilepsy. We'll keep watching and hoping with all our hearts that it never happens again. She seems fine today - with her normal happy energy.