My neighborhood’s on fire

I’ve been a little distracted all day. First thing this morning, I got a call from my daughter, Cielle. She wanted to know if Traci, my wife, was with me here in Sac, or at our house in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which we’re fixing to sell. Cielle was concerned because she’d heard about the Bear Fire, which had erupted just five densely-wooded miles from our place.

Later in the day Cielle sent us an update. I was putting a final edit on Raheem’s cover story (which, by the way, is a blast) when I got a ping: “Looks like they’re setting up evacuation centers on Zayante, which has to be a good sign—they wouldn’t be having people evacuate TO there if it was in danger.”

Whew. Zayante Road is just down the street from us. Heading north, it leads to Upper Zayante, a gnarly, beautiful stretch of road that leads to the summit, and to Bear Creek Road, which is where the Bear Fire is still burning as I write this.

For seven years, on and off, I commuted between our ridgetop cabin and Silicon Valley; my route was usually Upper Zayante and Bear Creek Road. At this time, the Bear Fire seems to be trending away from my route, and our house. But looking at the fire map is still a bit chilling.

I’m sure many of you have been more closely connected to the terror and tragedy these fires have wrought, but for me, this one is hitting a bit too close to home. I’ve been feeling bad for the folks who have lost their lives, lost friends or lost their homes. Today I feel worse. As the sun sets, the sky is a hideous shade of orange again.