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Susan
12-Sep-2015, 19:17
Some of you already know this from Facebook. We live in the foothills
of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the 2500 foot level, about 1.5
hours southeast of Sacramento. The area is heavily wooded.

This past Wednesday a fire broke out just outside of Jackson, CA off
highway 49, off a road named Butte Mountain Road. It was 5-10 acres.
2 hours later it was over 200 acres and had taken down the power
lines to the area where we live, as well as a large chunk of area
between us and Jackson, and to the south.

The next morning, it was 4,000 acres, having spread into heavily
wooded areas. It's now 65,000 acres, so roughly 100 square miles.
It's 10% contained.

We haven't been evacuated. The mandatory evacuation line is about 1
mile south of us, as the crow flies. We just got power back last
night at 10pm, and it's still on, so that gives us water again, also,
because we have a well. We both immediately took showers, once the
water was warm enough.

Until the fire is contained, we're still in danger. The winds were
favorable to us until very early this morning, when they switched to
coming from the south, which blew smoke into our area. We both got
headaches from it. The most intense fire activity is currently just
over a ridge to our south, and a little to the east.

We're fine. We have an evacuation plan set and places to go in the
event there's a mandatory evacuation of our area. It's pretty scary,
though, especially when everything looks orange from the sun being
filtered through the ashes and smoke from the fire.

Cal Fire is trying to surround the fire today, so they can get it
contained. It's threatening several towns in the area, including
ours, San Andreas and Arnold. Calaveras Big Trees is just outside
Arnold. From photos we've just seen, it looks like a town to our east
named Mountain Ranch might have been engulfed.

We're both exhausted from worry, as well as not getting much sleep
due to no power for air conditioning, and high temperatures during the
day and night. The weather is supposed to start cooling tomorrow, but
at least as long as the power holds, we're cool and smoke free in the
house at the moment.

I can't wait for this to be all over and the fire contained, though.
We live a mile in on a road that has no outlet, so it's important we
know what's going on in terms of evacuations.

As a result of John having gotten the parts necessary to use our
Prius as a large battery backup system during a power outage (it
provides up to 1000 watts of power), I've been glued to the fire news
sites the past few days. It's been a godsend to have the Prius to use
that way. When the car's batteries get low, it just turns on the
engine itself and charges itself up. So we've been able to save most
of the food in the refrigerator and freezer, as well as run the
router and use tablets to make sure we know what in the heck is going
on.

We're safe for now, and will evacuate if it becomes necessary.

--
Susan
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Anders Gustafsson
12-Sep-2015, 20:43
Susan,
> We're safe for now, and will evacuate if it becomes necessary.

Good to know. Take care.

--
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ketter
14-Sep-2015, 13:32
On Sat, 12 Sep 2015 18:17:49 GMT, "Susan" <ncci.mod@gmail.com> wrote:

>Some of you already know this from Facebook. We live in the foothills
>of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the 2500 foot level, about 1.5
>hours southeast of Sacramento. The area is heavily wooded.
>
>We're safe for now, and will evacuate if it becomes necessary.

Thanks for letting us know. I don't look at facebook that often and
had not heard about this.
Ken

Stevo
14-Sep-2015, 14:45
Sounds not fun and scary, sure hope they get it contained and all
remain safe and sound.


--
Stevo

Susan
19-Sep-2015, 18:55
Well, we're up to 65% contained, but today is supposed to be up in
the 90's, and it's not supposed to get cool tonight, and that's
supposed to hold for a few days, so we'll see how things go. So far,
so good, but not out of the woods yet. :)

--
Susan
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Susan
19-Sep-2015, 18:55
We're still in some danger, though not nearly as much as before. It
will be nice to be able to actually relax again one of these days! :)

--
Susan
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kgroneman
21-Sep-2015, 16:56
How are you doing now? I read a bunch more houses burned. (sad). I
keep worrying that with wind shifts, you may be a victim.

--
Kim - 9/21/2015 9:56:03 AM

Shaun Pond
22-Sep-2015, 09:13
Kgroneman,

I think that whatever happens to Susan, I don't think we could ever
describe her as a victim :)

--

Shaun Pond
in my "day job" I work for ENGL; our aim is to make Windows deployment
easy

Susan
22-Sep-2015, 15:18
Kim:

We're holding down the fort, and welcome to my world. That's what
we've been concerned about for the past two weeks. We've been pretty
tired of being on pins and needles, and have been relieved to see the
containment percentage increase daily. It's 80% today! We were
worried about wind yesterday. They were pretty much only able to
maintain their containment lines because of it all day, but overnight
they made great progress, afer the wind died down.

We've bought some new toys to make dealing with this sort of thing a
little easier. One is a wireless thermometer. It has two remotes, so
we can place one in the freezer in the garage and the other in the
freezer in the kitchen, and the display device is on a wall where we
can keep an eye on the temperatures. It has separate alarms for each
of the remote sensors, and responds quickly to temperature changes. I
think it was a little over $30. If you're interested in which one we
got, I can get the particulars from John.

The other is a 1500 watt inverter that displays the power draw, so we
know how much power we're using when drawing from the Prius. That
will give us a better handle on what all we can plug in to keep the
house going when the power is out. We figure that will come in handy
when we lose power on winter days, also, which usually happens if we
have a heavy snow.

As for the houses burning, I don't think anymore burned in our fire
or the Valley fire, but perhaps in some other fires that have since
cropped up. They're also finding more burned ones as the damage
assessment teams go through the burned areas. There have been 545 in
our Butte Fire that they've found so far.

There was one small community where quite a number of people refused
to evacuate. Mountain Ranch. They were the Alamo crowd, who chose to
stand their ground. They're quite proud of themselves because they
managed, with their own dozers and water trucks, to keep the fire
away from parts of their community. I think that made the news.
Unfortunately, what wasn't mentioned was that the only fatalities in
this fire were two men - one 65 and the other 80 - in that community
who died in their homes, after refusing to evacuate. Their homes were
consumed by fire. I'm not so sure they should be that proud, with
that result.

We're gathering things up to donate to those who have lost homes. I
can't imagine the pain they must be feeling, and I don't want to be
able to imagine it.

After the fire is 100% contained, we're going to take a ride through
the area closest to us that burned, to get a better idea of what we
were facing, and how close the north end of the fire got to us. It's
difficult to gauge from maps, sometimes.

No one we know lost their homes, though one came awfully close -
within a hundred yards, I'd say. Possibly less.

So, we're okay, so far!

--
Susan
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Susan
22-Sep-2015, 15:18
Thank you, Shaun. :)

--
Susan
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kgroneman
22-Sep-2015, 15:32
It's good to hear that you seem to be relatively safe for now. It
sounds like those thermometers would be good to tell you if your power
went out. Our freezer is on the same GFI circuit as our outside
outlets and once in a blue moon someone (I won't mention names, but it
stars with M and ends with arilyn) will trip it without realizing what
they did and wait for it to fix itself....while nobody realizes the
freezer is out.

I feel sorry for the people that lost homes...I hope they were insured.
Some things can't be replaced though.

Anyway, I'm glad you're safe.

--
Kim - 9/22/2015 8:29:02 AM

Susan
22-Sep-2015, 17:54
Kim:

Maybe this would be a good stocking stuffer for M, then:
http://www.amazon.com/AcuRite-Refrigerator-Freezer-Wireless-Thermometer/dp/B004QJVU78/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1442940530&sr=8-7&keywords=freezer+thermometer

It was $25.98 with free Prime shipping, made by AcuRite, who also
make great weather stations. :)

--
Susan
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kgroneman
22-Sep-2015, 18:57
I think that's something she would want/use. How far apart are your
units? It shows the receiver just outside the fridge/freezer but I'd
like it to monitor two freezers that are about 40 feet apart.
Nevermind, I see it in the Q/A section. 100m range. By golly, I think
I'll do it . Thanks!

--
Kim - 9/22/2015 11:53:41 AM

Susan
23-Sep-2015, 00:34
Kim:

John guestimates the two sensors are 50 feet apart. There are three
walls between them. We were going to put the main readout on the side
of the refrigerator (it has magnetic strips on the back), but that
was too far away for the sensor in the garage freezer. So we
compromised on a location roughly halfway between the two for the
display.

It worked on the opposite side of the kitchen wall, so it was
probably that third wall that made the difference, but that wasn't a
convenient place to view it, so we moved it more equidistant between
the two, where there's a spot we walk by regularly. With the alarm,
that's not really necessary, but it's a new toy, so we like to look
at it. LOL

Amazon has a really good return policy, where they provide the
shipping label, if it's fulfilled by Amazon, and doesn't suit your
needs. You'd have to check who fulfills it. I didn't notice when I
got the link. :)

--
Susan
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Susan
23-Sep-2015, 00:36
And if you count a perpendicular wall, there are actually 5 walls
between the two sensors. :)

--
Susan
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laurabuckley
23-Sep-2015, 06:16
Hi Susan,

I apologize for my slow response to your rather important thread!

I am glad that you are safe but did wait anxiously for your news.

Please do take good care of yourself :)

Cheers,


--
Laura Buckley
Technical Consultant
IT Dynamics, South Africa

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Susan
23-Sep-2015, 14:58
No worries, Laura. We are taking excellent care of ourselves! LOL

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Susan
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kgroneman
23-Sep-2015, 16:02
I've got a weather station from the same company and it works decently.
It sounds like I should be able to make it work here. Thanks.

--
Kim - 9/23/2015 9:01:14 AM