My father’s home is in the middle of the evacuation zone for Ramona, CA. And I’m just now hearing about it. I can’t reach him on his cell phone. He’s not registered on the Red Cross’ Safe And Well website. And I’m really fucking worried. So if any of you could say a prayer, light a candle, cast a spell, sacrifice a couple of goats, have the random fluctuations of the space/time continuum move aside or whatever method you use to communicate with Who/Whatever is actually out there, I’d appreciate it. So far, there’s no reported deaths from the Witch Fire. And I’d fucking love for it to stay that way.
Houses can be rebuilt. Business can be restored.
You only get one dad.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and frantically keep checking websites until either I find out something or I pass out at the keyboard.
[EDIT: 10.23.07 1103MDT]
Well, according to this map, and if it is accurate, my dad’s house remains. Missed him by about half a mile or so, but it remains. And when I make a call to my dad’s house, hoping that he has made it back by now, the phone rings rather than a busy signal. Which is another sign of confirmation, I hope. It wasn’t quite what I was wanting to know, but any information helps when you’re worried.
Still haven’t found my dad yet, but there are still no reported fatalities from the Witch Creek Fire so it’s just a matter of time. (But when I do get in touch with him, he’s grounded for a month for making me worry like this!)
Thanks to those folks at http://www.sdcountyemergency.com/ for taking time out of an already hectic night to put together information for the rest of us. And thanks to Bruce Webster over at And Still I Persist for the on-the-spot reporting even as the flames are headed towards his own home.
My candle is still lit over here. Yet now it is for the continued safety of the people throughout my old stomping grounds. Whether it be Ramona or Devore or Lake Arrowhead or Malibu or Santa Clarita or any of the other fires in the Southland, let folks stay safe.
And that goes triple for firefighters on the lines.
[EDIT: 10.23.07 2058MDT]
Finally got the chance to talk with my dad. He is currently in the evacuation center at Mira Loma High School. And he reported to me that, even with almost a million people displaced by the firestorm, the various agencies are still on top of things. FEMA, the Red Cross, CHP, San Diego County, veterinarians, animal shelters, and all the various and sundry city and community and town governments are working together very well. Aid is right there when it is needed.
For a direct quote: “Son, this is not like Katrina.”
Keep those candles lit for the people out there, and keep those prayers going for the firefighters, both those already there and those from all around the West that continue to stream into the area. No one is fully out of this thing yet.