Sign in to follow this  
El Borracho

Well...That was close...

Recommended Posts

Well...That was close...

Scary. The entire contents of the yacht was in the cabin due to the refit. As the flames approached I loaded it all into the truck. Screw the landlubber crap. It can burn. On top went the bunk cushions. On those is where I slept along the nearby highway with the fire crews. Back in my usual bed now after a week of that. It's a crowded oasis here. All the local bunnies, rats, chipmunks, deer and birds are with me on this half acre of relative green. The ash covered pool is our meeting place. Send food and beer...

 

ThatWas_Close_-_1.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG, WOW..   How do you recover from that.....  Feel for you Bro...  Couple years ago I got an xmass tree from the mtns.  Had to drive through that shit to get there.  Surface of mars is more habitable....  Just WOW...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, El Boracho said:

Well...That was close...

Scary. The entire contents of the yacht was in the cabin due to the refit. As the flames approached I loaded it all into the truck. Screw the landlubber crap. It can burn. On top went the bunk cushions. On those is where I slept along the nearby highway with the fire crews. Back in my usual bed now after a week of that. It's a crowded oasis here. All the local bunnies, rats, chipmunks, deer and birds are with me on this half acre of relative green. The ash covered pool is our meeting place. Send food and beer...

 

ThatWas_Close_-_1.png

at least you won't have to carry your chainsaw around..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow......... Just...... Wow!

Glad you are safe and..... Do you have power?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How the hell did the fire miss your half acre and Casa?? Everything around is burned to a crips!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

How the hell did the fire miss your half acre and Casa?? Everything around is burned to a crips!!

Perhaps sprinkler irrigation?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, El Boracho said:

Well...That was close...

Scary. The entire contents of the yacht was in the cabin due to the refit. As the flames approached I loaded it all into the truck. Screw the landlubber crap. It can burn. On top went the bunk cushions. On those is where I slept along the nearby highway with the fire crews. Back in my usual bed now after a week of that. It's a crowded oasis here. All the local bunnies, rats, chipmunks, deer and birds are with me on this half acre of relative green. The ash covered pool is our meeting place. Send food and beer...

 

ThatWas_Close_-_1.png

The universe was with you on that one. I would have bet large amounts of cash against it. It’s not in a good spot, everything from the topography and vegetation was working against it. I would have designated it as undefendable. I’m wondering if the fire went through at night without a big wind push. Hugely glad it worked out. I’ve seen similar inexplicable blessings the universe bestows this one or that one from time to time. You just scratch your head. Happy for you. Now buy a lottery ticket!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Point Break said:

The universe was with you on that one. I would have bet large amounts of cash against it. It’s not in a good spot, everything from the topography and vegetation was working against it. I would have designated it as undefendable. I’m wondering if the fire went through at night without a big wind push. Hugely glad it worked out. I’ve seen similar inexplicable blessings the universe bestows this one or that one from time to time. You just scratch your head. Happy for you. Now buy a lottery ticket!

If the trees were cleared say, 100-feet from the house, would that change anything to your undefendable prognosis?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which fire did all this to you?

Did you have a significant firebreak surrounding the property?

Time to buy a lottery ticket

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first impression was supported by PB - undefendable and  certain to go.  Very happy for you that it survived (and you!).  

Now get back to work on the refit ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, mikewof said:

If the trees were cleared say, 100-feet from the house, would that change anything to your undefendable prognosis?

100 might not get it done with that slope but it certainly would help. Even with the trees gone I'd be really hesitant to commit a engine company to that house. Not having scouted it and only one view there are several factors I can't account for.

1) What was the fuel load below the house before the fire came through.

2) Is there really only one way out on that mid slope road? If no escape route I wouldn't commit an engine.

3) You'll note there are several draws below the house. They look like they contained pretty heavy vegetation. Those funnel and accelerate fire.

4) The house itself is sitting on a ridgeline that fire will flow over with enthusiasm.

If I were to try to defend it, I'd cut a line below the house and fire out from that line to reduce the fuel available and flame lengths coming up the hill. I'd also drop a few trees close to the house or at least limb them up. Absent the time to do that prep.....I'd pass.

Look at the picture below. That is the site where 14 smoke jumpers were overrun and died in 1994 on the South Canyon Fire. Notice any similarities in the topography?

 

Hell's_Gate_Ridge,_Storm_King_Mountain,_oblique_view_upper_East_Drainage.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, El Boracho, I'm glad you were visited by miracle!  My question is: how the hell did you get that place?  Holy Fuck, a gravel road to the crest of a ridge with only your place sitting in the trees? That's incredible!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hot damn dude. That there is some crazy random shit. Guess you have some new pets? Don’t turn your back on the raccoons, they might be getting hungry...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with PB.....buy a loto ticket....I am glad you are safe.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Raz'r said:

Hot damn dude. That there is some crazy random shit. Guess you have some new pets? Don’t turn your back on the raccoons, they might be getting hungry...

He is gonna be frigging Dr Doolittle after all this is over..  Maybe Noah??  With the pool...  :P

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2020 at 8:29 AM, El Boracho said:

Well...That was close...

Scary. The entire contents of the yacht was in the cabin due to the refit. As the flames approached I loaded it all into the truck. Screw the landlubber crap. It can burn. On top went the bunk cushions. On those is where I slept along the nearby highway with the fire crews. Back in my usual bed now after a week of that. It's a crowded oasis here. All the local bunnies, rats, chipmunks, deer and birds are with me on this half acre of relative green. The ash covered pool is our meeting place. Send food and beer...

 

ThatWas_Close_-_1.png

wow that place almost looks like one of those hairless cats in a way, looks like the defensible space in front helped the program, glad you're here to tell the story and have a house!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2020 at 8:35 AM, shaggy said:

OMG, WOW..   How do you recover from that....

The list of chores just became much longer. However all yard and garden tasks can be crossed off. Road, power and water are the main tasks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/27/2020 at 10:01 AM, Mrleft8 said:

Glad you are safe and..... Do you have power?

Thanks everyone for the wishes. No power. Many poles burned up. Utility is already at work so maybe soon.

On 8/27/2020 at 10:02 AM, billy backstay said:

How the hell did the fire miss your half acre and Casa?? Everything around is burned to a crips!!

Because I spent my April and May maintaining the 100-150 foot clear zone. Most neighbors here do not. Ground cover cut to stubble. Trees limbed up as far as tools allow. Bare soil moat around foundation. We do this every year. The area can be seen in the pic. The roof is metal, too, which is critical. There were Hot Shots here before the flames. Unknown what they did or if they were here when the fire was. I had water and firehoses deployed. But I left the site long before the flames arrived.

On 8/27/2020 at 1:00 PM, Point Break said:

The universe was with you on that one. I would have bet large amounts of cash against it. It’s not in a good spot, everything from the topography and vegetation was working against it. I would have designated it as undefendable. I’m wondering if the fire went through at night without a big wind push. Hugely glad it worked out. I’ve seen similar inexplicable blessings the universe bestows this one or that one from time to time. You just scratch your head. Happy for you. Now buy a lottery ticket!

This is our third wildfire: 1985 & 2008 were much the same. This is the Dolan Fire in Big Sur. The fire created its own wind. Watching from the highway below there were fire-nados of embers on those steep spots. Where not cleared the highly flammable brush was 10-20 feet high. The redwoods and oaks behind the house do not readily support a canopy fire.

On 8/27/2020 at 4:01 PM, Recidivist said:

My first impression was supported by PB - undefendable and  certain to go.  Very happy for you that it survived (and you!).  

Now get back to work on the refit ;)

Exactly. Food, water and fuel are exhausted here. Highway is closed with a mandatory evacuation. Leaving for the boat where I can be productive. They let me leave but not return.

22 hours ago, chester said:

Man, El Boracho, I'm glad you were visited by miracle!  My question is: how the hell did you get that place?  Holy Fuck, a gravel road to the crest of a ridge with only your place sitting in the trees? That's incredible!

My parents got this place in 1970 for their retirement. Dad built the house himself. Us kids inherited it. Panorama of the Pacific coast from 1000 feet above Highway 1. I'll post a drone view the direction. It's a big wild place. Hundreds of acres, creeks, redwoods, countless waterfalls. All in a strict conservation easement. That half-acre with the home is the only place flat enough to be usable. Mostly inaccessible without super-human bushwhacking skills. Only a crazy person would want to live here.

22 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Hot damn dude. That there is some crazy random shit. Guess you have some new pets? Don’t turn your back on the raccoons, they might be getting hungry...

With the airspace cleared the falcons, red-tails, turkey vultures and condors are in feast mode. Dead or alive... I have to worry about raccoons? Ugh.

17 hours ago, Rushman said:

Is there a before photo?

 

17 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

wow that place almost looks like one of those hairless cats in a way, looks like the defensible space in front helped the program, glad you're here to tell the story and have a house!

Santa Cruz got slammed too. Must be devastating back in the forest there. The novelty of shitting in a hole is wearing thin here. I'm heading for the boat.

ThatWas_Close_-_1_(2).png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Because I spent my April and May maintaining the 100-150 foot clear zone. Most neighbors here do not. Ground cover cut to stubble. Trees limbed up as far as tools allow. Bare soil moat around foundation. We do this every year. The area can be seen in the pic. The roof is metal, too, which is critical. There were Hot Shots here before the flames. Unknown what they did or if they were here when the fire was. I had water and firehoses deployed. But I left the site long before the flames arrived"

 

In the foreground it is easy to see the line to which you cleared, but behind and beside the structure, it looks like the trees are very close??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The tree canopy does not seem to burn without fuel below. All the low fuel was cleared behind down to the road. A year ago it was raked clean of sticks and leaves. Fire can only creep low thru the stubble. Clearing is much work. Easier than building a new house...

Two species are eliminated entirely near the house: Ceanothus and Bay Laurel. Both exploit being explosively flammable to destroy their competitors. The first spreads billions of fireproof seeds. The second sprouts from a huge durable root ball. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the before and after shots, I guess the fire travelled across the bend in the road first.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, El Boracho said:

The tree canopy does not seem to burn without fuel below. All the low fuel was cleared behind down to the road. A year ago it was raked clean of sticks and leaves. Fire can only creep low thru the stubble. Clearing is much work. Easier than building a new house...

Two species are eliminated entirely near the house: Ceanothus and Bay Laurel. Both exploit being explosively flammable to destroy their competitors. The first spreads billions of fireproof seeds. The second sprouts from a huge durable root ball. 

 

well, El Boracho, you seem to have the science of home fire protection in your area down pat!!  I bet you could charge beaucoup fees to run classes for your neighbors, but I'm sure your boat project and home maintenance needs don't to allow time for that...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really good friends just lost their first home (was currently rented out) in Boulder Creek, CA. Up in the hills north of Santa Cruz. It was up a rough narrow dirt road and firefighters couldn't quite get to it. Thankfully everybody evacuated safely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2020 at 9:19 AM, billy backstay said: ...the foreground it is easy to see the line to which you cleared, but behind and beside the structure, it looks like the trees are very close??

The tree canopy is not the issue for us here. It is not as dense as it appears. Not like a typical conifer forest. The low stuff is the issue. That back side is where the fire comes from every time. We clear it extra clean and far. It is also relatively greener...northeast facing. All that, considerable luck, hot shots, and a bit of water.

We do have sprinklers all around, could be left unattended, but in practice they are useless as the water will likely run out before the fire arrives. Ten sprinklers use a prodigious amount of water. Heat sensitive fire sprinklers might work...

Big problem is burning leaves and embers blowing up against the walls. 

Slow but sure, the big winners in home destruction are termites, carpenter bees, and rot.

A long cruise seems like the best plan right now...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, El Boracho said:

A long cruise seems like the best plan right now...

Glad to hear you are safe and sound...  kind of know what you're going through as we're just getting over the Thomas fire here.

Stay safe

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this