Friday, July 4, 2008

Gap Fire is now the #1 Priority Fire in the State!!

11:30 pm: What do you do while you wait? Have a nice slow morning….kind of like being on vacation. My daughter and I finally decide we can’t sit around here waiting, so we head to State Street for food and caffeine. D’Angelo’s Bakery has the best cappuccino in town so we have two. While we are sitting outside at a lovely table for two when a young man comes up to the table and says he would like to tell me about tourist spots in Santa Barbara. I explain that we don’t need any guidance about local tourist spots or where to eat. We are locals. The he struggles to ask directions to “the tourist place where the jury is and where they take them to jail.” I finally realize he is the tourist and he wants directions to our famous court house. I told him to go up State Street and go right at Anapamu. He looks at me incredulously and says slowly, “Anapamu? That is a name?” I reply, “Yes, it really is a name.” I write our directions from him. When his father approaches he rattles something off in rapid German. He has the air of confidence as if he clearly understood everything I had told him in English. I hope the made it. Christine would like to do some normal things to take her mind off the fire. So we walk into a boutique to do some shopping. This helps her to relax but it just sets my anxiety soaring. If my how is burning down I just don’t want to be looking a dresses while it happens. I need to do some reconnaissance and see for myself what’s happening with the fire and its proximity to our house. We need to go see what we can see.

As we pass the gas station we see a few U-Haul trucks. It makes sense. If you live in politically correct Santa Barbara you are likely to drive Smart car, a Prius or a Vespa. You cannot get much in any of those.

The fire has moved closer still but out inside contact (a Cal Fireman on the strike team in the neighboring canyon) says they are making good progress. We should be able to return home tomorrow.

So now what to do? Why not get a pedicure at the nail spa with a big picture window where we can watch the fire from a few miles away.

Then the wind changed. A thick, thick blanket of smoke turned from the mountains and headed for the sea. It was very dark. The big bursts of flames are just terrifying. We are afraid because we don’t know which way the wind will turn and we are worried about the firemen we know who have been on for two weeks straight. It is tricky fighting a fire in winds that are swiftly changing directions. The fire is heading east now. We head back to Montecito. By the time we arrive, more mandatory evacuations have been called. We are not in any danger where we are now. The winds are expected to stay up for most of the night.

Congratulations Gap Fire is now the #1 Priority Fire in the State!! It is nice to be #1.

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