I still don't have time to sift through photos and video and add them to this page. It's been rather hectic around here. But I want everyone to know we are okay. We live in the foothills above Boise/Eagle. On Wednesday, lightning struck a few miles to the West of us-- starting a fire. It burned much of the afternoon and was contained and burning away from us until some high winds kicked up and shifted its direction.
We had about five minutes to evacuate. Suffice it to say, Wednesday was one of the scariest days of my life. When we left, I could see flames shooting over the ridge towards our house from the West and a wall of flames North of us (just three houses up). We couldn't breathe, we couldn't see and we couldn't hear.
I left with my two friends (they'd just flown in and arrived 30 minutes earlier), the dog, the rabbit and the children. I was very brave and calm until I got behind the wheel and then I completely lost it. I felt I'd come back to nothing. Byron was moving four wheelers, trailers, vehicles etc. to the middle of our lawn when I drove away. He stayed to fight the fire and with the help of some friends who snuck around blockades and cut through fields to help-- he saved our home and helped Grandpa Bodily save his.
I'm sorry to report, my dear neighbor Nancy (who lives just above us) lost everything. As did our neighbors above her and the house across the ridge to the West of us. In all, only 4 homes burned. Even though, in the light of day, you can't believe that more did not. The fire came right up to many doorways. At our place, a 20 foot wall of flames tore through our back 11 acres and just stopped about a yard and a half from our propane tank. I have to call it what it is-- a miracle. The power company had cut all the electricity off to the foothills-- which means we had no water. We have a well that is over 300 feet deep. Byron was hosing things down when the water suddenly stopped. So, we surely saw the hand of the Lord in sparing our home.
I plan on writing in detail what happened that day-- I just have not had the time. So I'm hoping in the next few days. Meanwhile, here are two links. The first is from the local ABC station that interviewed both of us. My favorite part is where they chyron Byron as Byron Leavitt-Barker. I'm sure he's thrilled! We both look horrid. The second is from the local paper-- pictures taken by a guy who lives about a mile south of us. Some of the shots are better than others. But it will give you a decent perspective.
We are shaken, but fine. We lost about 12 acres to the fire. It burned on three of the four sides around our home. We lost an old utility trailer, much of our new fencing Byron had put in a year ago, our raspberry and blackberry bushes (the girls are crushed-- they were selling them this summer for their Disneyland fund. But they stopped crying when we reminded them we still have our home), and an apricot tree. Byron's truck reeks to high heaven-- he left his window open in the rush. As does the girls playhouse. But our home is fine. Strong, steady and oh, so comforting after the craziness.