This story originally appeared on Polyvore www.polyvore.com/charlotte_fire_idaho/set?id=52221818
I wanted to share with you a bit about the fire in our community. The Charlotte/Mink Creek Fire burned my home and 65 others in a few hours. Amazingly, no one was lost or badly injured in the fire. This is miraculous. The wildfire was one of the fastest moving that has been. It burned an area about 1 1/2 miles square in a few hours.
My spouse took the photo on the top left about 15 minutes after the fire stated. It was also the moment we decided we needed to evacuate. The official orders had not yet come but we began to prepare to leave. We had time to pack a few clothes, our passports, birth certificates, marriage license, two of our office desktops and two laptops plus all of our hard-drives. We packed Sophie’s food and her bed.
At that point we went to check on our neighbors. The official orders to evacuate came so we dashed home and I grabbed food and water for us and we left.
The next photo was not taken by us. It is what we saw as we gathered at the evacuation point. It is about 45 minutes after we first saw the fire. The photo is centered over the location of our house.
In all, 2,000 people were evacuated. About 1,000 were allowed to go home in the first 12-24 hours. It is now three days and about 700 of us are still in evacuation status. Around 70 homes were lost and along with 30 barns, sheds, and other similar structures.
Many people were at work in town and were not able to get to their homes or their pets before the fire hit. Many animals were rescued by others. The fairgrounds opened their animal facilities so that people could bring the livestock. Some people brought their own livestock, some brought others livestock and some brought both. Slowly, people whose animals survived the fire are being reunited with their people.
The second two photos are from 2 days after the fire. They show the outlines of my gardens that Sophie has described. She is still looking for the chicken leg :-).
We do not know exactly what will be in the coming days and weeks but so many people, officials, volunteers, friends, families and strangers are giving generously of their time and their support that I know rebuilding will proceed with hope.