Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Absolute Mayhem

So unless you have been living under a rock the past few days, you probably heard something in the news about the fire in Herriman. I thought I would post about our experience because it was pretty incredible. We live right on the border of Herriman and Riverton. We weren't in any danger of the fire, but we were close enough to get a first hand look of the tragedy.

On Sunday I was spending my afternoon enjoying a nap with my Averie girl. Yes, it was glorious. That is, until my room started to smell like campfire. Damn neighbors burning something I suspect. Anyway, I woke up and got ready to take Averie and Sergeant on a walk. As soon as I walk out my front door I stop dead in my tracks. Holy Crap! The mountain was erupting or burning or SOMETHING! I couldn't see any flames, but I just couldn't believe how much smoke was in the air. No wonder my room smelled like campfire.
I checked out the news to find out what happened and then went on about my day. I figured it probably wasn't that big of a deal. We have wild fires all the time and I wasn't very worried because I didn't think it was that close to us. Well after a couple of hours I heard on the news that they were evacuating people. At this point I started getting concerned. I went outside and it looked a lot like this. Like an idiot, I didn't take a single picture. Thank you KSL for posting so many pics. They will have to tell my story for me:) The air was so hazy and smokey. Ash was blowing and it would burn your eyes if you were outside for very long. I started to worry about Averie and we debated about staying at my parents that night. We ended up staying, but the smell was so awful. Just after being outside for a few minutes and I smelled like I had been camping for a week! As soon as it started to get dark, the fire had reached the top of the mountain. I was starting to panic a little bit at this point. The wind was blowing so hard and it didn't seem like they were getting the fire under control. The news reported more and more evacuations. I wondered if we would be evacuated because of the smoke.
This picture reminds me of a volcano. Its pretty much what it was like. Hot lava coming down the mountain burning everything in its path.This picture breaks my heart, I am not sure if this was one of the homes lost or not.
Just another incredible shot. This was taken at the Cove Subdivision I believe. Want to hear the ironic thing? Last week we were in this neighborhood looking at lots to build a house. We LOVE this subdivision. We still may build here, but unfortunately, it's not as pretty as it was before.

The fire burned through the night and three homes were lost. My heart aches for those families. I can't imagine the devastation. It made me think about what I would have taken with me if we were evacuated, not knowing if my house would be there when I got back. This experience really made me want to be more prepared for an emergency. We don't even have bottled water in the house. I guess we would just go to my brother's house. AmyLyn has food storage and 72 hour kits like you wouldn't believe. She is much better about that kind of stuff than I am.

Well on Monday we had to go exploring of course. We probably should have stayed away, but its like a car crash, you don't want to look but you can't look away either. It was so SAD! Our beautiful mountain was this charred black pile of dirt. I love Herriman. It is so pretty up there. Now there is this big eye sore.We even found one of the homes that burned down. Amazing that all was left was the chimney. It was so amazing to me that there were several houses close to this one that were totally unscathed.
One of the neighborhoods we checked out had burned vegetation all the way up to their property lines. I think the only thing that saved these homes were the rock walls landscaping their properties. They were so lucky!And then there is this home.
What the?!? Someone must have been praying their little booties off! Ha ha. Just kidding, but seriously, how did this house survive?

I am very happy to report that there were several deer running the streets. I was very concerned about the wild life. Brian just rolled his eyes at me.
We are so glad that the fire is mostly contained at this point and that everyone has been able to return to their homes. It truly opened my eyes to just how lucky we are and breaks my heart for those that weren't as lucky. We are so grateful for all the hard work of the firefighters. They are our heroes.


Dogmom Diva said...

Kellie, very sad..we have lived through fires most of our lives in SoCal, we have also lived very close and so scary and I can smell the smoke smell now..
those homes that werer saved were because the vegetation had been cut back, and a lot of very tired firefighters..
wthin a couple year it will look as it did before, people will rebuild, the vegatation and wildlife will come back.
I am guessing tis was a man made fire> Glad youguys are ok!

Stephanie Salmon said...

Wow, I had no idea you guys live right there. Even us in Provo, Brandon and I were talking about what we would take if we had to leave our house immediately for a fire. I think we have 72 hour kits somewhere....(they were a Christmas gift from my mom, definitely not my own doing). So I take it you weren't forced to evacuate then? Still...crazy!

BoyackTidbits said...

Glad you were okay. We saw smoke around 3:15 and by the time we got to Kim's, it was full on out burning. That night, it had crowned on top of the mountain. So sad. I hate fire. It shows how you never know when something will happen.

Matt and Suzanne said...

I can't believe this! So glad you guys are okay. What a crazy experience this must have been! The pictures are just unbelievable.
So sad for those who lost their homes!:(

The Payne Family said...

So scary Kel! I'm glad everything went ok. Andy and I went up to Traverse Mountain that night to watch it and it was nuts. I'm so sad for all those families who lost their homes. That would be so difficult to have to leave and not have a home to come back to. I can't even imagine. If you want me to help you get started on your food storage/emergency preparedness, let me know. We can atleast get your 72 hour kits done, they don't take up alot of space. :)

Ela and Daniel Asisi said...

Oh wow Kellie! Those pictures are so heart breaking. I'm glad your little family is safe...and the wildlife!

Brooke Carroll said...

WOW, I had no idea this was all going on in your area! How tragic! :( I hope that everyone is okay and that things have gotten better for the surrounding community...and the people that lost their homes! Those pictures were INSANE. Thanks for sharing Kellie