San Diego really is a beautiful place to live, but it gets kind of hot while it's ON FIRE.
We noticed the fires a little after noon on Sunday. I noticed that my car was no longer parked at my house and called the police to find that it had been towed (stupid homeowners' association rules) and we all piled into the car to get it back. $314 later (zomg!) we were driving home and noticed the haze in the sky. We turned on the radio and heard about the Witch Fire burning near Ramona, CA. We were amazed that this smoke was from a fire 30 mi away.
We went home and closed up the house and turned on the TV. With the fire due east and heading west at a remarkable rate, we definitely wanted to keep an eye on it through the night. Sarah woke up at around 5 am Monday morning and turned on the TV. The Poway High School that was being used as an evacuation center for Ramona citizens was cleared out and the evacuees were moved to Mira Mesa High School, just down the street for us. The Witch Fire was encroaching on Poway. The air quality was horrible. Even with the house closed up and the AC running, there was a thick wood-fire smell in the house.
We reserved some plane tickets to get Sarah and the kids out of town, but weren't able to get to the airport fast enough. Work was obviously canceled, so we decided to beat the crowds out of town and turn the fire into an impromptu family vacation. We packed up all the important stuff in the car in case the fire does reach the house and took off heading north at about 9 am. I-15 was closed due to the fire, but it was very easy to head out north toward LA on I-5 (the I-5 was later deadlocked by people trying to leave, so early was definitely the way to go here). Parts of LA were burning too, but we were able to avoid those areas pretty easily. We were going to stay in Stevenson Ranch, but there were some nearby fires so we decided to keep driving north. It's a good thing too, because another large fire broke out there.
We kept driving north and decided to stop in Bakersfield. It's a nice little town (and has Sonic restaurants!), but best of all, there's no fire.
We're just hanging out here enjoying the local sites and breathing clean air. We might head back home tomorrow depending on how the fires do through the night.