We Are Now Evacuation Level Two - Be Prepared To Leave
Let's see, so much has happened that everything is a blur. My last post summarized our Sunday and Monday mid-day when I filled the propane tanks and BBQed us some lunch. Fast forward to 6pm. I was chilling, watching a show on my 10" tablet (which is silly because I can just as easily put it on our 40" TV, but then Hub can hear it while he is napping, so the tablet works just fine) and there was a knock on the door.
I knew that something Fire related must be up. Sure enough, the ranger hands me a flyer, explains the flyer and departs. I get hub up and we discuss the turn of events. We were advised that the Sheriff recommended all campers leave, but that it is not required. We are only required to be ready to leave at a moment's notice and are now at level 2 evacuation (3 is leave immediately).
Because of the late hour, Hub and I were not interested in leaving. I confirmed with the ranger that the employees were staying, some long term residents and a few others, so we could stay too.
We put everything outside away except the power, hitched up to the truck, and left the slides out. We could be on the road in 15 minutes if need be.
Then I did some investigation and discovered that the 6pm town meeting that day in Plain was video'ed on FB live. So I watched it. The call for raising to level 2 was to get sick and elderly residents and livestock out, as well as to clear out the Thousand Trails of all campers (I found this interesting because the flyer in no way mandates our leaving, and the ranger recommended it, but did not require it). The level 2 area is a total of 558 residences of which many are not lived in full time. They have called for level 2 very early, and will give alot of advance notice ahead of time if/when it has to raise to Level 3. Ah, and both directions of the highway will be open for evacuation (important for us because we will want to head west on 207 - our escape plan includes heading to the rest area just west of where 207 meets up with hwy 2.)
The FB live video then moved on to the fire itself. Fire teams have contained the east and south perimeters, and haven't spent any time on the west and north sides. The wind through tuesday will be westerly (bad for us), but I see that by 3pm it is shifting east which is good for us. The plan is to work on containing the west side over the next couple of days.
We discussed our options and because of the season, there will be no openings at any Thousand Trails for the weekend. If we need to move, we will head first to the rest area to regroup, then likely to Monroe (Thousand Trails) for a night or two. UPDATE: TT just emailed us to give them a call, they are working on accomodating folks at the other TTs, so I called and the person on the line was very helpful! She had just cancelled some reservations up at Birch Bay, so she checked and got us in! We will leave here tomorrow and if for some reason we do get evacuated today/tonight, we have various rest areas we can stay at until tomorrow. /whew!
With everything fire related taken care of, I went up to lay in bed and continue watching a series on the tablet, but I could not sleep. At 2:30 Hub goes outside then comes right back in to tell me to get outside and see the fire. WOW, it looked so close! Hub got the awesome picture with the lights from the ranger station and lodge off to the left. So Hub got his wish granted, he saw the fire! It was a bit scary, but I reminded him of what the Fire team lead said about early level 2 and 3 evacuations planned so we trusted that the fire was really farther away than it looked. I also posted a pic from the same view during the day, you can see that the fire riddled ridge is hazy during the day so you cannot see the fire itself.
We finally went to sleep at 6am. It was so quiet but I could not sleep past 9. By 11am I was out looking on the Fire board for an update. There was no update, but because the Fire teams will expect all campers to be evacuated, I did not expect one. I did talk to one of the rangers, we are still good to stay, but there will be no one allowed in through the weekend and the park will evaluate the situation next monday morning.
For us, being at level 2 is pretty limiting because it means our truck cannot be used for anything. We will stay one more night and if we don't go back to level 1 tomorrow we will head out.
Stay tuned for the next installment...
Thanks for stopping by!