Fire’s pretty much kaput. Firefighters are heading home, or to fight one of the multitudinous other lesser fires burning somewhere else in the arid West. We all came back to work today, and of course, soon’s I get there, suddenly I wisht I was on vacation again. Vacation only seems to be meaningful as a time off work when you should otherwise be at work. Enforced vacays ain’t no fun.
Tourists pouring in like the roads were never closed, it’s back to normal in Tahoe. Let the temperatures rise and the last residual tenacious spots of snow on the mountains melt! It’s summer alright. And the fire danger remains very high.
Just as the media attention shifted as soon as the fire began to get contained, so too the kind of focus that disaster achieves in a community has begun to erode almost immediately. The frantic people running about the streets, the wondering disaster gawkers standing on roadsides, the fervent and almost patriotic supermarket checkout line communion is all gone. Only the people whose homes were destroyed (and that weren’t “vacation homes”) are left with the burden of ongoing struggle with loss and destruction. I can imagine how that must be: all the world has continued on like nothing happened and you’re stuck trying to pick up the pieces.
I personally am happy to not have a car stuffed full of my belongings, and to not have to be constantly awaiting to see whether I have to skedaddle or not.
Anyway, lesson from wildfire learned today, children, is that you’d best make yourself some phatty defensible space if yer living out in the middle of the woods.