As the Ocotillo Fire swept up onto our plateau two days ago, we evacuated in such a hurry, I left my wallet with all my ID and credit cards, not to mention all my meds, and my computer and all my sketchbooks and paintings (so much for the measured evacuation of the last fire ten days ago, where we packed the eight things we needed).
One thing is clear: after having lived in the same house for 33 plus years, one gets a little attached to the idea of it always being there.
Tom pulled into his driveway and I got out and ran up the hill towards our property. All the underbrush was burned, but the bigger mesquite and palo verdes were still standing, although in the fading light I couldn't tell if they were alive or merely standing skeletons.
I sincerely believe his proactive yard work saved our house. Oh, and it didn't hurt that we had the house built with block, not wood frame. Here's a good aerial of the Ocotillo Fire footprint.
Our house is in the upper left quadrant, just to the right of the confluence of the two washes. Notice the random skipping of the fire on our side of the creek. And notice how thorough the fire was on the other side. I hate to admit this, because I am no fan of blading the desert, but houses were saved because of it. An eye opener to say the least.