Thursday night Dan and I talked on G-chat. We talked about how it's supposed to snow on Friday and how hopefully the roads won't be too bad for my drive back into Reno on Friday night. Friday morning I woke up in my little bed, in my little bunk house, in the quaint little town of Paradise. Since I was expecting snow, I went over and I looked out the window, but there wasn't any snow. So I shuffled back over to my bed and I got on my computer--as I do most mornings--to check out what's going on in the world and very much to my surprise this is what I saw:
My first reaction was "What?!, it was supposed to snow, how is there a huge fire in Reno?" My second reaction, once I looked at the picture a bit closer, was a sinking one, "holy shit, my house is in that area. Dan, the pups, and the goats all are there!" I called Dan as fast as I could. I was so glad I was able to get through to him on my first call. Lucky for us, the fire was just north of our place. Dan had been woken up around 4 in morning by the wind and went outside, when he looked up the whole hillside to the north was on fire. He said it was pretty crazy. We were very lucky, even though the fire was fairly close to our neighborhood, the wind was blowing it the other direction. We were in the volunteer evacuation zone not the mandatory one, so Dan stayed, but got things ready in case the winds changed and he had to get the family out.
I left work a little early to come back and be with the family. By the time I got to Reno homes were no longer in danger, which was great to hear. This was a devastating fire for Reno, 21 structures were lost many of which were residents. There was only one death, which is a sad story of on older gentleman who had a heart attack while evacuating in the middle of the night. The last I heard they hadn't identified how the fire started, but they think it may have been caused by downed power lines from the wind. My heart and thoughts go out to all those who were affected by this fire. Northern Nevada has had a run of hard times lately--but it's been amazing to see our community come together and support each other during these times. I love my community, my home!
*Update on numbers: As of the morning of 11/20/11, a total of 29 homes declared destroyed/uninhabitable, 7 partially damaged and 1 with minor damage. In addition to the man who passed from a heart attack, one firefighter has suffered serious burns and is in the hospital.