Headed up the Northern California coast was pretty uneventful until we hit Ukiah. We came to a dead stop on highway 101, right past Upper Lake Williams.
Signs directed us to the right lane as the left was closed ahead. We merged well before we could see why the lane was closed. However lots of people in a hurry tried passing everyone who pulled to the right early. You know those people I’m talking about. Well this time it really bit them in the rear, the unfortunate part is that the left lane was closed because emergency vehicles were trying to get a big fire.
We we only about 300 yards away from the hill that was on fire. As we sat watching and waiting several fire trucks tried to get through only to get stuck behind one of those drivers. The worst part was when the fire truck got behind them, lights and sirens, urgently trying to get to the fire, the drivers froze. In drivers training 30+ years ago, they taught me what to do in the event an emergency vehicle was behind you with lights on. Pull to the right as far as possible and wait for them pass. Also, don’t follow them like a running back while your half-back makes a lane for you to score a touchdown. Guess these drivers were absent that day. Thankfully they got the hint when the fireman had to jump off the truck and yell at the guy to pull over.
Anyhow, we could see the hill on fire. We were close enough to see flames and feel the spray of water from the helicopters doing airdrops.
The fire was moving across the dry hill fast. The conditions could not have been much worse. Windy, hot and dry, Dangerous enough that hubby and I talked about an evacuation plan just in case we had to leave the truck on the road. We quickly repacked a bag with only essentials.
Thankfully, after about 45 minutes, we started moving. We passed the cause of the flames. A truck and trailer were burned beyond repair and it started the hill on fire. The passengers were standing with CHP and appeared to be ok. The firemen were able to contain the fire close to the road but up and over the hill was still burning as we drove away.
Hope everyone stays safe. Remember, lights and sirens, pull all the way to the right. Unfortunately but true, it could be your friend or relative they are going to help.. You would want to make sure they got through as fast as possible.
Promise you, my next blog won’t be so grim. It’s about BBQ!