Monday, July 14, 2008

FIRE! (next door) the past year, properties on either side of us have burnt down.

We were coming home from the East Bay on Sunday night and as we were about to exit Highway 99 we saw flames shooting up into the air near where our house is located. There were huge fire balls...not good. Matt and I started to panic but didn't want to upset Lola. As we approached the turn for our street we could see our huge tree and realized that the flames were not coming from directly under it which meant that our house was not the one on fire. Thank God. Our dogs were home and I kept having visions of them trying to escape. As we pulled up it was clear that it was our neighbor's home which is also a nursery. The fire had just started and we followed an off-duty ambulance to the property that had seen the flames and decided to see if they could help. As we passed our house and pulled up to our neighbor's property, their entire barn was engulfed in flames shooting at least 150 feet into the air. Fifteen minutes later, 6 fire engines appeared on the scene from our volunteer fire department. A water tanker truck also arrived to battle the flame. The fire soon traveled from structure to structure on the property burning trees, part of the adjacent orchard and 7 greenhouses. The smoke from the fire was pitch black from the polycarbonate burning along with chemicals and fertilizers too. Soon, half of Lodi showed up on Curry Avenue and lookie-loos blocked the road making the property hard to access for the fire department. People were even parking in our driveway to watch! The fire blazed for several hours and the tanker truck must have made 50 trips to retrieve more water. Flying embers set the back of the huge property ablaze as well and even started a structure on fire that was located on the next country road east of us. We watched closely hoping the already gusty wind didn't shift and spread the fire in our direction. It was crazy! Lola was very excited by the flames and fire trucks. We were happy that instead of freaking her out it actually provided entertainment!

Here are photos from our front yard as well as from our upstairs windows:

Nursery Fire July 2008