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We were trying to find a new sense of normalcy after the big fires began to lay down within their containment lines. Last Friday MA  and I picked apricots and went to lunch and played with our dogs. I returned home to get back to work processing wedding photos.

Fifteen minutes later a neighbor was here telling me we have to evacuate.  There was a fire on the next road. I could see the thick black smoke column roaring in our direction. I threw a few things in the truck and loaded the dogs. The sheriff sped into our driveway and told me to go! Now! A woman was with him and I asked her to drive my car down to the highway.

There we sat and watched as our hillside turned into an inferno and fire trucks raced up the hill. The temperature was already 100 degrees. My phone buzzed with calls and messages. Where was I? People could see it from across the valley. A dozen helicopters were in the air. We had glimpses of them through the smoke. A friend who could see it called to say it didn’t look good for our house but the helicopters were still dumping water there. Emergency workers told everyone to leave that area and go somewhere safer. There were lots of vehicles clogging the road with people taking pictures and staring.

In Winthrop I was finally able to call Ken and tell him we might have lost our house. The dogs stayed pretty calm despite the heat and chaos. I got them in the river to cool off. Our friend across the valley called to say the smoke cleared and our house was still standing! Oh my gosh. I could hardly believe it.

We stayed with those friends that night. Another couple was there whose home burned in the big fire. We watched as fire fighters on the ground and in the air continued to work the fire and a DC 10 poured a long line of retardant across the top of it to prevent it moving to the west. We also saw homes of our neighbors burn to the ground.
Saturday morning the fire was calm and we returned to our home – an island in a sea of burned landscape.









  1. The power is still out and I struggle with the smartphone interface.

    We are incredibly lucky. The enormous fires in our valley brought thousands of fire fighters here and there command post is only a mile and a half from here. There are also many aircraft. Without these resources our house and countless others would have burned like our neighbors’ homes did. We have tremendous gratitude to the people who saved our house.

  2. So glad to hear your house is still standing. What a horrible tragedy for your neighbors.

  3. Have been so worried for you and Ken as the media reported that houses on Rising Eagle Road had been lost. Thanks for getting word out. Sending a virtual hug for you both. I am so sorry that some did not fare as well. So much of life is random…
    Good thing that you have black dogs because everything will be sooty until the snow flies!

  4. Sorrow for the losses, relief to hear your home and the four of you are OK. I cannot begin to imagine the strength of will it takes to face such odds in that heat and that kind of inferno. Those men and women are just amazing!

  5. This has been an unbelievable summer for you, I am glad you and the animals and husband are safe. I wish the best for your neighbors and community. I send good mojo for a gentle winter and fruitful spring…nature will bring it round again.

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  1. By Recording the Changes | My Everyday Photos on 05 Aug 2015 at 3:34 pm

    […] the Rising Eagle fire I established a couple of photo points. Originally I had three but I narrowed it down to just two. […]

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