Sunday, October 4, 2009

As If Life Couldn't Get Any Worse Right Now for Auntie Tia...Wrightwood Evacuated


Here is a website to check for more updates on the actual fire:
Click here to watch a newscast video about the fire (since I can't get it to upload for some reason).
9:39 PM - Officials confirmed that three homes had been destroyed and said more structures could be damaged but provided no further details. The three destroyed houses were in Swarthout Canyon, one of the areas where officials used reverse 911 calls and door-to-door visits to enforce a mandatory evacuation. Despite the winds, firefighters used four helicopters and nine air tankers to dump water on the fire. On the ground were 57 engines, four bulldozers and a hand crew. -LA Times

County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who lives in Wrightwood, said he talked to fire crews who were applying fire retardant gel to homes east of the Pinon Mesa area on the rim of Lone Pine Canyon early Sunday afternoon. Mitzelfelt said flames crept within a quarter mile of several hundred homes in the newer residential developments of Pacific Crest Estates and Pinon Mesa. -Inland Valley

8:04 PM - Meetings being held in Victorville and Lytle Creek right now to update residents.  Fire is 20% contained right now.  Humidity is up to 55% and temperature in WW is at 36* right now and winds have died down from 40 mph to 13 mph so those things will help considerably.

3:52 PM - Some pictures from InciWeb:

Okay, so Melon Man was saying this morning - "Great, what is going to happen next?  An earthquake while we're in California for the funeral?"  Well, my dear husband, this is how much that could happen while we are there:

Yep, that's right.  The San Andreas fault line runs practically through Auntie's yard.  It's only about 700 feet away.  Scary, huh!  I never knew it was so close to their house.  That would just be the kicker - an earthquake on the San Andreas.  Please no.

2:28 PM - From Inciweb:  The Sheep Fire started near Sheep's Canyon Road near Lytle Creek at about 2:11 pm on Saturday October 3, 2009. It burned northeast to Swarthout Canyon Road, then northwest up Lone Pine Canyon. It is currently burning near the top of Lone Pine Canyon near Wrightwood, CA. It has not crossed Hwy 138 at this time. The fire is about 1/4 mile from Hwy 2 and homes in the area. Firefighters are cautiously optimistic at this time about keeping the fire from burning into Wrightwood. There are numerous helitankers and fixed wing air tankers dropping water and retardant on the fire, as well as crews working on the ground and engines doing structure protection.

2:02 PM - Family has arrived at Cindy's.  Uncle Bob has settled down and is watching tv.  Auntie Tia is asleep.  Others all watching conference.  Auntie Tia had things prepared for a situation like this so it was quick to go in and get what they needed and be on their way.  Auntie Sigie said that as they left town they could see the flames and smoke from the fire and it was scary.  Just taking things one hour at a time right now.  The winds in WW have died down and the airtankers are flying now doing drops.  Hopefully, they will be able to stop this fire quickly.

9:43 AM - Currently the fire is moving north to northwest from Swarthout Canyon to Highway 138 through Lone Pine Canyon. The fire is burning about 1.5 miles east of any homes in the WW area. Numerous strike teams are in place for structure protection for the eastern portions of WW.  Aircraft has been unable to fly this morning due to low visibility and gusty winds. Aircraft will operate when weather conditions permit.  Luckily, Auntie Tia's house is in the very far north end of WW.  I'm not sure where Larry/Wendy's house is in comparison.

8:23 AM - All of WW is now under mandatory evacuation.  Uncle Ward called the fire department to see if they could get back up there to get a few things and was told okay since Uncle Bob's medical things are up there.  Larry went the back way and got in to get a few more things.  As of now though, Uncle Ward, Auntie Tia, Auntie Sigie, Uncle Bob, Shelly, Sherry, and Larry are headed to Cindy's to stay until they are allowed back in.  Everyone, please pray that this fire will shift away from heading into WW or be contained really quickly and that Wendy's funeral, etc., will be able to go on as planned!

8:05 AM - I was just talking with Lisa and she got a call from Cindy.  Will post an update as soon as I hear from her.  In looking at the InciWeb website, the fire is now 10% contained.  As of last night, it was only 5% contained. 

6:30 AM - Got a call from Lisa that Wrightwood (WW) has been evacuated due to a fire in Lytle Creek (LC).  LC is about 15 miles away from WW.  Uncle Ward told Lisa that Larry received the reverse 911 call at about 3 AM and he called Auntie Tia's house.  Auntie had not gotten the reverse 911 call.  (Her house is in the very far north part of WW and in looking at the boundaries of the mandatory evacuation area, she is not in them so that is probably why).  Anyhow, the family has all evacuated to the Stake Center in Phelan and we are awaiting another update.  The smoke is really bad and is blowing north from LC to WW, with 40 mph winds coming out of the southwest.  Here are some pictures of the fire...

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