Black Forest Fire

John Lohmeyer lohmeyer at t10.org
Mon Jun 17 10:09:24 PDT 2013


* From the T10 Reflector (t10 at t10.org), posted by:
* John Lohmeyer <lohmeyer at t10.org>
*
Many T10 people know that my home is inside the Black Forest fire mandatory
evacuation area. I promised several people that once I knew something for
sure I would post an update to the T10 Reflector. I am now confident that my
property is NOT affected by the fire. We are still evacuated, but my wife and
I expect that we will be allowed to return home soon. We are extremely sorry
for the nearly 500 families who are not as fortunate.
Here are a few details for those who are curious. The Black Forest fire
started on Tuesday afternoon (while I was at the SOP-PQI meeting in Irvine).
Fortunately, two of my sons and my daughter-in-law's brother came out to help
my wife evacuate. They were able to hitch up the horse trailer, load the
horse, cage the indoor cats, grab some important papers, and prepare the
house by removing all window coverings before the reverse 911 call came in
saying they must leave.
When I got back Wednesday evening, the fire was still totally un-contained
with hot, dry, gusty winds; the smoke plums were impressive. The turning
point on controlling the fire came on Thursday afternoon when a thunderstorm
came through the area. It did not drop a lot of rain, but the temperatures
dropped into the 60s and the humidity increased. 
On Saturday, my wife and I were allowed to return to our house for 5 minutes
to retrieve some medical items and to attempt to rescue our barn cat. A
police officer escorted us to/from our property. We were not able to capture
the cat, but we did see him and left him some food/water. I am sure he is
much happier staying in his barn.
On the 4-mile drive each way, we saw some horrible devastation. Some
properties were completely blackened with only a chimney standing. Others are
no different than when we left. The in-between properties are a real
testimony to the firefighter's courage and skills; There is an impressive
video on YouTube of the firefighters protecting one of the Black Forest
houses:
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wypQc57kacg
Thankfully, we saw no fire and no smoke on the drive. The firefighters are
now in a tedious mode of searching for any remaining places that are not
completely extinguished and putting them out. We also saw utility workers
restoring power poles and lines. The power was on at our house, but we are
told that it had been turned off long enough that we should throw out all
perishable items. 
Sunday night the boundaries of the mandatory evacuation zone were reduced
almost to our house. People living across our road are now allowed to return.
Our turn should come soon.
Thanks for all the kind thoughts and prayers,
John
--
John Lohmeyer		       Email: lohmeyer at t10.org
LSI Corp.		       Voice: +1-719-533-7560
4420 ArrowsWest Dr.		Cell: +1-719-338-1642
Colo Spgs, CO 80907
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