We stepped out of our house. A column. Smoke.
It was utterly massive. Scary big.
Too close to home, too close to our home town.
Neighbors going door to door, with warnings.
Next came an evacuation alert.
They warned us to be ready to get out.
I couldn’t sleep, too scared the fire would come.
Walking outside constantly, to check it.
One in the morning, and on that first night,
I could step out on to my street and see,
a red glow, on the back of the ridges,
and then, the fire reached the top of one close.
Close enough to see the flames, hear hissing.
I wondered if we should go right away,
but I stayed up, watching it wearily.
It was like that for a couple more days.
Then, the alert level was raised again.
That was when we decided to get out.
Across the river, a shelter set up.
Family offered help. Strangers did too.
They even had a place that could take pets.
That first night in camp, we watched the fire burn,
and it was spreading frighteningly fast.
All to the west of our town, it had gone.
The next few days we couldn’t see a thing,
our beautiful world, had turned ashen gray.
A few more and the fire came back eastward.
There was an intense night where it was fought,
but our town made it through without a scratch,
thanks to so many people working hard.
The scenery around us all has burned,
and yet we are among the luckiest,
because we had our homes to return to.