Fires Might Make Us Change Our Plans Yet Again!

Publish Date: 
8/20/2018

Yesterday the air quality was great in the am. It was 67, almost in the "good" zone which is 50 and lower. We decided to make a grocery run and on the way we noted at least six different fire and police cars heading north. Just north of where we are staying is a temporary Fire Relief camp. It has emergency vehicles, helicopters and tents set up all around it. They've been there since the Cougar Creek fire started. I suggested to Hub that there must be an important meeting taking place for that many emergency vehicles to be heading up the highway.

We got our supplies and Hub decided not to fill up with fuel because the station was packed. As we turned onto hwy 2 we noted a ton of traffic. I filmed a bit of it but missed the turn from the store onto the highway where I could see a long line of cars all stopped. Our ride home was uneventful as we stay on the highway for two blocks and turn off. I had Hub go straight in to the trailer while I packed in the groceries. By mid-day the air wasn't looking too good and at around 3pm we got a knock on our door. The ranger advised us that we are now in level 1 evacuation, which means, be ready to evacuate.

We made a plan for preparing to evacuate, which included me doing the more strenuous outdoors activities. First, Hub ran to the gas station to fuel up, the air was still pretty good at this time. Next, he helped fill our sewer tote and I went and dumped it. We did two rounds, by this time it was too late for the next task which was to fill our three propane tanks, two were totally empty and the third was still fine, but wasn't full. The air quality was only around 100 when we finished the outside tasks. Inside I packed away most of my craft supplies.

By morning, the air quality had taken a serious turn for the worse, it is shown in the picture. It was 309. So that means Hub is now in quarantine, he has a lung condition and cannot be outside in the bad air. I handled the three propane tanks. While I was having them filled I got more details on the fire. Evidently Saturday evening the fire crested the hill just east of us and you could see the flames. Hub is bummed that he missed this event, he would certainly have taken pics!

After filling the tanks and re-hitching them back into their slots in the trailer, I used the third one to make us hot dogs for lunch. It is strange how the air quality can take such a major swing because I cannot tell the difference. I still smell the smoke and see ash falling whether it is 60 or 300. So I just have to follow the advice of the app that takes the reading.  Keep in mind it is taking a reading two miles away, and it updates every two hours so there is plenty of room for variation. 

I still see lots of families outside, doing activities. But I also see a full parking lot at the lodge where folks are staying indoors. The pool is closed due to falling ash and the poor air quality which I think is a good move on the rangers' part to keep everyone as safe as possible. We are still seeing alot of new arrivals.

Thanks for stopping by!

~Tracy

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