I woke up today with fire trucks passing by at 10 minute intervals. At first I thought they were the police and some major crime is going on, maybe some hostage thing… Or maybe some big accident going on where ambulances were going back and forth bringing people to the hospital. Being the Filipino I am, I even felt like going there on my bicycle and figure out what is happening, the Filipino “Oshosho” thing where Filipinos mysteriously like watching danger enfold in front of them unmindful of the danger. But I am not in the crazy world of the Philippines, where the country is a circus.
So I decided to check the news instead. There was a big fire in the mountaneous areas of Rancho Penasquitos. It was hard to determine where it really was with the areal views of the fire, but as the helicopter cameras panned from side to side, checking the shapes of the mountains and taking note of the location of the focused residential areas, I fired up Google Earth and it was pretty easy to figure out where everything was.
In the middle of the mountains are walking paths that are regularly cleared by bouldozers for people that jog/walk/hike/bike in the area. These paths that I have personally jogged and biked through sometimes seemed to stop the fire from spreading further into other bushes.
The wind was making the fire continue and go on and was moving it towards the north and east at times. My location was at the southern part of the fire. And residents living at the houses where the fire was heading were asked by the police to evacuate and most were being brought to Mt. Carmel High School that is a close walking distance from where I am. If they were bringing people there, I guess we already in a safe location.
TV news says there are 3 planes and 5 helicopters dropping water and fire retardants. It is already 6:30pm. Still hearing all the fire trucks passing by every now and then. Low flying helicopters passing by every few minutes. The news says, the fire is not yet dead and may take about 2 more hours to consider the fire completely exterminated. The news says people at the relocation areas may be allowed to go home at about 9pm. And even if the fire it not yet completely dead, they say it looks like the worst is over.
This all happened in the middle of the mountains, not a sigle residential home got burned. This is not a big forest, but mainly full of shrubs and bushes. So if ever there were people in the middle of the mountains, it is not that hard of a terrain to get out or get lost. Some areas are just too steep to run down, because if you trip, you might tumble down the mountain just like how Jill did when following Jack when he fell down and broke his crown.