Monday, November 17, 2008

Heartbreaking Drives in Yorba Linda: Sun Evening & Mon Morning

(Above: Just before sunset Sunday evening. Notice the color of the sun--a deep red. In the foreground--oil derriks from the old 76 Union Oilfield near my home. None blew up, thank God!)

Sunday evening, we took a drive around town just after the evacuations were lifted. Some of the canyons and parts of the nearby freeways were still closed. Here are some pictures I managed to shoot. I know some are not too clear because I took the pictures as we were driving by.
(Above: The entrance to Carbon Canyon. About a mile from my home. The firefighters were still working away.)
(These are true heroes!) (Below, at nightfall, Carbon Canyon was still closed. This was the entrance.)
One of the members of our church congregation was still at his home clearing brush and trees. Sunday afternoon the flames were getting close and he called from his ham radio for help. My husband and another church leader went into the canyon to help him. They had a producer from FoxNews--who had a media pass--with them. If you have a media pass you can get past road blocks. They were able to help the family save their home.
These are pictures I took this morning as I drove through Yorba Linda.
(Below: The hills up to these homes are blackened. The homes are miraculously still intact.)
(Below: This homeowner was not so lucky. It broke my heart to see the man who lives there rolling out his garbages to the curb for tomorrow morning's pickup. The homes of his neighbors on either side of him were unscathed.)
(Below: The people on this hilltop are looking down at the terrible devastation. All that's left is their chimney.)
(The fire "hopscotched" through the neighborhoods--burning one home and not touching another. As you see below, this was all that was left of one home.)
(Below, is a home left in rubble. Their neighbor is one of my dear quilting friends, Sally. I called her today to check on her. She sustained roof damage, but she and her family are safe and sound. Her son stayed all night hosing down their home. Their neighbor's home could not be saved. She said even though she was able to return to her home, she felt it wasn't safe and the fumes are very strong. As you can see, the news media was there interviewing the neighbors.)
(Below: A shot of the fence along the horse trails in the area. Notice how the heat produced cracks in the wood.)
(Below is one entrance to the Chino Hills State Park that borders Yorba Linda. When my children were little, we would go on hikes there. This is what is looked like this morning.)
(Below you can see the path my kids and I used to walk on. In the bottom right hand corner the sign marker says: EASY)
(Notice what looks like red "paint" in the pictures below? That's "flame retardant" sprayed on the area by a DC-10.)
(I'm sure the flame retardant saved this home. You can see it "painting" their garage door. The fire was very close to this neighborhood.)
(This family was hosing down their yard to try and remove the flame retardant. I asked them if it was difficult to remove. They said, "A little, but we are just grateful we are not sifting through rubble!)
(Final shots below: The smoke in the air this morning. All of the schools shut down today because of poor air quality...this if view looking east from Bastanchury hill near my home.)
(Below is a view of Catalina Island in the distance...from the Summit House restaurant not far from my home. You would think that brown air was smog, but that is thick smoke leftover from the weekend.)
Lessons learned from all this: be prepared, be prepared and be prepared! My sister writes a very informative blog about preparedness. Visit it here: PreparedLDSFamily. I need to follow her example!


Kylie said...

Having lived through this myself in Canberra, Australia in January 2003, my heart goes out to those who now live in such devastation. While we were lucky and did not lose our home, I know those who did and it was truly the scariest 24 hours of my life wondering if we were next. My thoughts are with those in Yorba Linda. I hope your recovery is quick and relatively painless.

Staci Jayne Love said...

Thanks for your blog...I feel like I was there, oh, I was!
I keep praying that time will go by quickly for those who have lost their homes and they will be able to rebuild their homes and memories soon. Those poor poor people, who DIDN'T deserve it (stab at Utah).

LaVonne said...

Vivian, WOW!! You've had a lot of excitement this year..Earthquakes and Fire..whats next? hun, Second coming?! I could use a little excitement in my life right about now. Maybe I should move back to Yorba Linda!! hey, it's just a thought. Miss you and your family.

Summerset said...

Wow. My husband and I used to mountain bike in Carbon Canyon every once in a while when we lived in LA. That brings back a lot of memories.

Shannon said...

How devastating! I'm glad you're okay.

dee said...

I was watching the news last night and they showed people coming back to nothing-what a devastating thing to endure. I know what we all say about replacing "things" but still, the loss of such personal items is awful to contemplate.
Thanks for your photos and I'm very happy to hear that you are alright. Stay safe.

Diane said...

I'm speechless. So glad you are alright! I remember the smoke from fires that were not nearly as close as these, and I thought it was terrible. You should have seen my husband this weekend. He was fit to be tied. He would have done anything to be there to help. Not that he could have done anything, but he was so concerned about all those we love so much! Thanks for the update. It means a lot to see pictures. I'm guessing I know the person who needed help saving his house. Hope all is well with them as well. Our friends here in Tennessee who moved from Yorba Linda said their bishop lost his home. So sad!! I just hope the latest rumors about how it all started are NOT true.