When I went to bring Dan to the bus depot to change his ticket for Wednesday, as I turned to drive down our street, you could see the flames in trees about a mile or so away (on the other side of the big highway - no danger to us). There were a couple of kids who'd decided to make a campfire in a little forested area near their house, and it got out of control so they *ran away.* (obviously not boy or girl scouts, who usually have more of an idea of how to control a fire). Still, as we drove down my hill, it was pretty interesting how high those flames got - easily 10-20 ft. higher than the tops of the pine trees... The photo shows the view from our street after the flames were contained - they had been higher than the tree just behind the white building - but where the smoke is in the photo.
After we got his ticket fixed (that consisted of the lady at the counter writing his name on a slip of paper with Wednesday's date - no actual change on the ticket itself), we picked up Diana at her job and she'd heard the sirens as the fire dept. went to work on the fire.
We drove down Diamond Lake Blvd. which was open, but people were driving slow through the smoke. As we drove, a helicoptor with a bag of water dumped it on the fire. I hadn't seen that up close before. I always thought they just opened the bottom of the bag somehow and it all dumped that way - but it actually opens slits up the sides, so it's more of a shower. Still, it's a lot of water & I wouldn't want to be under that! I missed getting a photo since I was driving. Those helicopters are stationed at our local airport all during the fire season months.
By the time we drove by, they had already contained most of the fire, so we just saw a lot of smoke. Ashes fell on our house, but not too much. One thing Oregon knows is how to fight fire! That's really our main natural disaster. No hurricanes/tornados, earthquakes (to speak of), volcano action, or flooding (out of the flood plains). If you keep your property maintained & green, you're pretty okay.
We would probably have to evacuate if a fire started on the hill above us - that's all wild, but we are surrounded by homes & a cemetery. So in that respect, we're about as safe as any other home in the world. Fire happens. I'm glad our city has a lot of experience in the forest and knows their equipment!