also reminds me he got a lot of open space between the house

Rugged Matilija Residents Make Decision to Stick it Out

The smoke from the Thomas Fire in the upper part of Wheeler Canyon canada goose outlet online is pretty intense. I finally been able to get past a downed power line and canada goose black friday sale worked my way along a rock strewn section of Highway 33 to the Matilija Canyon turnoff.

canada goose outlet parka The canyon road leads up over a small knoll and down into what is a surprisingly long canyon that follows a picturesque creek for close to five miles before a locked Forest Service gate prevents further road access. Beyond this are a few ranches, the Matilija Wilderness and canada goose outlet uk the Santa Barbara County line. canada goose outlet parka

canada goose outlet canada I stop at the top of the knoll to check my surroundings, not sure if I get cut off by the fire below me along Highway 33. A few spot fires close to the point where the creek empties into the North Fork of the Ventura River are also a bit canada goose outlet toronto factory of concern, but at this point they don seem too threatening. canada goose outlet canada

Across Highway 33 the Topatopa ridge is smoking hot, with winds that are taking the fire in a northeast direction and away from me at least for now. With a bit of apprehension, I turn the corner and head into Matilija Canyon.

canada goose outlet trillium parka black I happy to see that nothing in the canyon has burned. I been told earlier that the previous night winds had blown the fire through the Matilija area, but the flames are still high up on the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains. canada goose outlet trillium parka black

canada goose outlet store uk The Matilija Road takes a winding path up the canyon, curving up and over a series of small hills. With cottonwood trees and willows filling canada goose outlet new york city the canyon bottom, this would normally be a beautiful drive. But I canada goose outlet black friday keep wondering canada goose outlet store if my good luck will hold. canada goose outlet store uk

canada goose outlet seattle Having been here many times before, I know there is a small community that calls this area home. There are perhaps canada goose outlet fifty families who live up here, but given the way the houses are tucked into the trees and canada goose outlet nyc in some cases hidden from view, there may be many more. canada goose outlet seattle

canada goose outlet mississauga Many of the houses in Matilija Canyon are nestled in among the trees and brush, canada goose outlet sale making them susceptible to wildfire such as the Thomas Fire. (Ray Ford / Noozhawk photo) canada goose outlet mississauga

Everyone else seems to have left and it is understandable why. I seeing houses that seem primed to burn: lots of wood structures; overhanging eaves, wooden decks; and many surrounded with heavy brush and trees.

canada goose womens outlet I a little worried the Carrolls might not know what they are getting in for. canada goose womens outlet

Several miles up the canyon, the Jeep canada goose jacket outlet makes a left turn through a group of trees. The house is small but looks tidy.

canada goose outlet store calgary I park off to the right in a fairly large open area that gives me a little hope that they be OK. Other than the trees, water tanks, a small shed and several shipping canada goose outlet parka containers, there isn much between the house and the creek, which appears to be at least 50 yards away. canada goose outlet store calgary

canada goose stockists uk I discover Dick and Billie are not the only ones who stayed. I also meet Jim Cook and his friend, Katie Wellman, who live next door from Dick. The Carrolls have taken steps to protect their home from the Thomas Fire, and are sticking it out in the rural enclave. (Ray Ford / Noozhawk photo) canada goose stockists uk

canada goose outlet online I a little skeptical given the house is wood frame, there a pretty large tree hanging over a part of the roof, and he got a wood deck facing the creek that looks like it would go up when the first flames come this way. canada goose outlet online

canada goose outlet uk sale on around here, Dick says, leading me past a small shed. Our insurance company has even said we good to go. the background, I can hear a generator running. canada goose outlet uk sale

canada goose parka uk is attached to one of our water tanks. Dick turns and points towards the creek. got another 10,000 gallon tank over there and a separate generator set up to pump canada goose outlet reviews water from that one. That a total of 25,000 gallons of water available to us of we need it. still skeptical. They above ground I point out. And what about that wood deck? canada goose parka uk

Dick smiles at me and says, got sprinklers on the roof that will soak it and the deck down. also reminds me he got a lot of open space between the house and the creekbed.

It a big space but I remember two night ago when the fire crossed Creek Road near Oakview. The flames had been more than twice the height of the nearby trees and more like a firestorm swirling overhead, covering the entire road at one point and more than likely impossible to survive.

So I summarize what seems like Dick plan is to survive if the fire reaches their doorstep.

canada goose jacket outlet sale got canada goose outlet two different sources of water, two different pumping systems, 25,000 gallons of water and a big open space that you believe will keep you safe, I say. what happens if these things canada goose outlet uk sale don work? bends down and points under the house. canada goose jacket outlet sale

the basement, fully lined with concrete and we be heading down there if need be. not sure I want to be inside that with a burning house immediately above me, but I can deny that they done what they need to give themselves the best chance possible.

I wish Dick and his son Billie luck as I head canada goose outlet jackets back to my truck, thankful I wasn staying the night.

check on you tomorrow, I tell them, make sure you OK. Final Note

canada goose outlet eu Within a few hours after I left Matilija Canyon, I was standing across Highway 33 near the entry to another small enclave, the North Fork community, when the first flames began to creep up to the knoll where the road leads into Matilija Canyon. canada goose outlet eu

canada goose outlet toronto location At first it was just a few flames peeking up over the road, but quickly the fire began to build and within minutes the fire was across the road, heading north on the ridge above Highway 33 and probably also directly into Matilija Canyon. Escape out was no longer possible. canada goose outlet toronto location

Here is to Dick and Billie Carroll, Jim Cook and his friend, Katie Wellman, and best wishes that you be OK. Hopefully I see you today.


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