Report from the fire in Oak Hill (Part 2)

By guest blogger Chris Birchard

O.k., Later that day.—————–
I’d arrived at the track where we run, just South and above , about 30 minutes after our evacuation.
Sunday, track almost deserted.
 So, I climbed to the upper-hill and made my way across the soccer field and onto the berm and near a fence that separates the residentials from the interlopers.
    First, I saw no cloud.
Then, I saw three or four clouds rising into the sky, from my hilltop perspective.  I sat down to join the grass and burrs, to join the battle being fought; to observe.
   It was a great vantage point: Two helos hauling tiny buckets back and forth. A spotter plane constantly daring the flames by running through them, showing C-130’s, with U.S.A.F. printed on the under of  their wings, where to drop their flowing, bright orange-red loads, onto the fire, which would stream out into the hot day.
   My sunglasses were gone, so I hiked my shirt up around my head, waiting for a verdict, avoiding the sun’s piercing stare into my eyes.A load of water, silence, then a new dark cloud, always coming back as a destructive shroud over the land.
    “Where will we spend the night?”, I thought.
The C-130’s made many circles right over me on their way into the action. As the younger of the gathering crowd would exclaim, “He’s peeing”, a load of retardant would hit the ground or flames, and I’d think, “Your’e upwind, son.”
   After the last dark cloud had left, I felt new again. I went home, to my precious objects and temporary security, but by a back way that few evacuees knew about, other routes in were closed, to find Jude & Sheri, there, waiting where we had started, for us, or something else, to arrive.

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