Tubbs Fire / Nuns Fire part 1

[Posted after the fact]

My alarm goes off at 4:42am every day, to begin getting ready for work.

This morning, as I stumbled into the bathroom and turned on the shower, I turned on the light.

Except there was no light.

Okay, power outage. I turn on my phone to check PG&E’s website to see what was up.

No cellphone service.


I walked downstairs, and went outside to see how far down the street the power was out.

Can’t say I was expecting this.

My first thought was that Trump and Kim Jong-Un had finally butted heads on the worst way possible. That’s the problem with living on the west coast – when you wake up, most of the world has their day pretty well underway.

Eventually we found out that Santa Rosa was on fire.

Like, bad.

Like, really really bad.

I woke Amanda, and after that, things are a blur.

What I recall:

  • Speaking to my boss on the phone (I had cell service a block or two up the street), and telling her I’d be in to work. I was told that I was not to go to work under any circumstances. Without Internet, we had no idea how bad things were, at first.
  • Although large portions of the city and the surrounding areas were on fire, it didn’t seem immediately near us. At first. We decided to wait and see. Things weren’t looking too encouraging when the sun came up (see above).
  • Looking north, on the street we live on, there are mountains in the distance. At one point, I saw smoke coming from our side of the ridge. We packed up, and decided it was time to go. We had an offer to stay with friends in Petaluma.
  • It’s a holiday. My direct deposit was supposed to clear that day, normally, but didn’t. Because it was a holiday. Traffic evacuating town was terrible. Gas stations were closed, and I wasn’t sure we had enough gas to get to Petaluma. Even when we found an open gas station, my card was continually declined because my paycheck hadn’t fully posted yet (because of the holiday). Despite many frantic phone calls to the bank, there wasn’t anything they could do, despite being able to see that we were in a bad situation by checking the news. We decided to “try,” and made it to Petaluma