Monday, May 19, 2008

Weekend Assignment #216: Fire!

"Remember in elementary school you were told that in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file, from smallest to tallest? What is the logic in that? What, do tall people burn slower?"

-Warren Hutcherson

Weekend Assignment# 216: Tell us a story or anecdote that involves fire in some way. It can be a forest fire, a house fire, a campfire, logs in the fireplace, or even a lit match, a tale of comfort or destruction. Whatever comes to mind, if it's interesting and fire plays a role, we want to read about it!

Extra Credit: Is the area where you live subject to dangerous wildfires?

Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

In September of 2007, two fires were burning here in the Bay Area, that kept the skies lit up for days. The Lick fire and the Acre Coe Park fire. The smoke was heavy, turning the sky an eerie shade of orange, as in the above photo, and there was that smell... I hate the smell of smoke. It brings back the terror I felt as a child, watching my father run in and out of a neighbor's house, which had become fully engulfed in flames.

It happened a little while after midnight, on hot night in the summer of 1965. I was only 3 at the time, but you never forget seeing the only father you have, run into a scene so scary. As a result of what I saw that night, nearly 43 years ago, I have experienced a life long paralysing fear of fire. I have never even lit a match. If I want to put some romantic candles out... Alan lights them for us. Maybe someday I will conquer my fear, then again, maybe not. The Berkeley firestorm of 1991 was another experience with fire I would rather not speak about. It served as reminder in my adulthood that fire commands a respect like no other fear can. Enough said.

Extra Credit: Yes, California is prone to forest fires, and this year we are at a higher alert then in most years, due to the lack of runoff from the Sierra. :(

Note: The photo in this entry hasn't been retouched. That's how it looked outside at 6:10 PM on September 6th, 2007. Click the photo to view it in a larger size.

"The Glow"
September 6th, 2007
Early Evening


Karen Funk Blocher said...

Wow, I didn't realize this was such a traumatic subject for you. It's understandable that seeing your father in danger from fire when you're that young would have a lasting effect.

That's an amazing photo. Here's hoping we all have a mild wildfire season!

Florinda said...

I had a fear of fire and lighting matches for many years too. It may have been planted that time when my little sister lit that "campfire" on the living-room rug, but...compared to your experience, it doesn't seem like very much. I'm sorry.

Your photo looks a lot like what we were seeing in here in Southern California last fall. It's probably going to be another rough fire season.

Mike said...

That would be scary seeing that. I hope you don't have any problems near your house.

Your picture reminds of one year when there were some bad fires in Mexico and the haze made it all the way up here. We couldn't smell anything, but the conditions were right to affect the sky. It was strange. Good luck and stay safe.