Rebecca and I were evacuated yesterday afternoon as the Black Forest Fire closed in on our apartment. We moved into that apartment just 10 days ago. Most of our stuff was still in boxes buried in the second bedroom. We rent(ed?) an apartment that is part of a larger house that 2 other people live in.
We were planning on leaving for Peru this Thursday, but that missions trip was canceled just wednesday last week. We have barely had time to process that.
I sat down at my computer after a very busy morning at work yesterday around 2:30 and saw the notice on twitter about the fire along Shoup Rd. I quickly began calling Becca, but I couldn’t get ahold of her. I tried calling a few other people but coudn’t find my wife. She had the car with her, so I was going to get someone to drive me home. Then she called and said she just got my messages and was going to come get me at work. I told her to not leave yet, because she might not be able to get back in, so we talked through what she could pack into the car in preparation of evacuation. My four month pregnant wife, who was sleeping heavily and feeling very sick already sprang into action and packed our important documents and a suitcase of clothes and a few other important things in the car.
By that point I had gotten a ride from a friend at work and we were working our way towards her around the closed roads. She called and said the Police told her to evacuate now, and she was driving away. The police told her the fire was less than 500 yards away at that point. I made it almost all the way back to our apartment, but met Rebecca and the gas station just up the road.
We prayed for safety for all the people still evacuating. We tried to process what was happening. Then we decided to stay with one of Becca’s friends for a couple nights. So we went to walmart and grabbed an airbed and some sheets and pillows. Last night we spent with our amazing friends at church during our normal Celebrate Recovery meeting. We have been surrounded by great friends all along. We have been blessed with so many offers of places to stay. We don’t know how long we will be without a home.
We are not certain that the apartment was lost but we have a pretty high confidence that the fire went straight through our area. It may be a couple days before we know what happened. Here is a video from yesterday about .5 miles away (right where I met with Becca) looking roughly in the direction of our place.
Last night, from the place we are staying we could see the entire horizon lit up with flames in the direction of our home. We are OK. We have a lot of important stuff with us. And we are healthy. We have renters insurance. It’s just stuff and we have said all along that we don’t want to be tied down by it. But there is a lot of emotion still around just not knowing what happened or what happens next.