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Monday, October 22, 2007

Perfect Firestorm!

"High temperature, low humidity, strong winds...."

As usual I got up this morning to make my toddler's regular morning milk. A few minutes later, I realized that the living room lights were on. I thought nothing of it in the beginning. Then, I got up to the kitchen again to wash to milk bottle that Zoey has just finish drinking from and saw my wife in front of the flatscreen. I thought maybe she was worried about the stock market since the night before there was news that European stock market was not doing well prior. So I thought nothing of it again. Minutes later, my wife came in as I was applying some Vicks ointment on my daughter and I thought she probably heard Zoey coughing. Instead she told me to start packing as there is an evacuation order. Wow. I heard sirens blaring outside but I didn't know that the fire was already moving close. We live at Rancho Bernardo and it is actually pretty far from Santa Ana and elsewhere where the fire started. But since 2am last night, the fire was already approaching fast with the aid of a 50mph fierce wind. So I packed as much as possible, especially computer stuff, while my wife has already started packing earlier....as well as taking photos of whatever is left in the house. This will be useful since we won't be able to remember everything we had in the house. I grabbed a few books (including Stuart's book heheheh)....then made our way out. The traffic on the freeway (I-15) was extremely heavy moving at perhaps 5mph, so we took the local road (newly opened road) which connects to Black Mountain Road. We travelled along Mira Mesa Road which was relatively light and arrived at Vinh Hung supermarket for breakfast. Along the way, we took some bites of the bread I made the previous night (programmed to be ready in the morning....just when we were about to step out of the house, it beeped ready)...perhaps this is the last I see our my good bread making machine (Panasonic SD-YD250)...sob sob....I got to admit, it is a good friend. No more susu kacang??

My family and I were just taking a morning walk on Saturday around our neighbourhood (near Aguamiel Road) but the last I seen on TV, some houses were already burnt. A friend told me the Rancho Bernardo Baptist Church is already burnt down, not far from our place. I hope this is not true. We know quite a lot of friends who live around here (West Bernardo Dr, 4S-Ranch, Poway, Rancho Penasquito etc) : our nannies/babysitters, badminton players, ex-colleagues. Some of them have evacuated to the evacuation centers such as Qualcomm stadium and some high schools such as Mira Mesa, Escondido, Poway etc. Our last nanny recently bought a $1mil house plus $$$ for renovation...let's hope his house will be spared.

We are staying at out friend's place at UTC, and should be pretty far from the evacuation zones. I am trying to get good updates on Internet using google and found this blog. Hopefully it is useful for anyone out there desperate to know the fire conditions and other needed information. I will try to find more as I have more time.....

http://hitsusa.com/blog/215/san-diego-fires/ (may need to hit refresh to show page)
kpbs radio live
map of the fire

you can perhaps find the list of addresses here

p.s. nbs station will post list of address on fire resource link tomorrow.....