www.whyville.net Nov 23, 2008 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Fire? Where? Why?

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Hello everyone! Kjsdx3 here with my first article! Now, you're probably wondering what I could possibly be writing about fire, yes? Well, if you live in or near Southern California, you'll probably know what I'm talking about. Now to the point: I'm going to talk about this fire and my experiences with it.

Well, I live in Southern California and was affected by this fire. I was affected by the Corona Yorba Linda Fire. It is Sunday, November 16 and I had just come home. My neighborhood, and most of Yorba Linda, was under mandatory evacuation.

Saturday, November 15th started out as a normal Saturday morning. I woke up at about 10:30, and went on Whyville as I usually do at some point everyday. Then, I received a text message from my friend telling me to look outside my window. I did and everything had a strange orange tint to it. I asked my friend why it looked like that she just said, "Fire". At the moment, it wasn't very close, just close enough to smell the smoke. Later on I received a text that the area just a few miles away, Bryant Ranch, was being evacuated. That was when I started panicking.

I walked downstairs to my parents, knowing they would have some explanation for me, but my mom was on the phone talking about the same thing I was. I ran upstairs and started packing any clothes, electronics, pictures, and anything that was special to me. I shoved it all in bags; I ended up with four bags, including my backpack which only had my school things and a jacket. My parents saw me running around packing, tears running down my face, and they told me everything was going to be okay. Then they started packing too.

After we had clothes, pictures, documents, etc. we sat down and watched the news to see how close the fire was. I ended up noticing things that were nearby and started panicking again. I couldn't watch it anymore. I started wandering the house, looking out windows to see if anyone else was leaving or if anyone was coming to tell us we had to evacuate. Nobody left. Nobody came. My dad was outside hosing everything down, my mom was also out there putting the leashes on the dogs, just in case. The second before my mom came in there was a knock on the door. I started pouring tears. Thank goodness it was just my grandparents to help us put things in the car.

We left before we had to. It was raining ashes. The air was too unhealthy to breathe in. We took the dogs and the cat and all our bags and belongings and left. Of course there was a lot of traffic, everybody was too nervous to stay, and we could all only go one way because the roads were blocked. We got to my grandparents' and dragged our pets in, and of course turned on the news. My dad stayed behind with my grandpa to make sure there were no looters coming around and to make sure our house was okay. While they were there, a fire started on a hill just a few feet away from my house and even closer to one of my best friends' house. Another fire started on the hill behind the houses across the street from mine. After those fires were gone, my dad and grandpa came, too. My mom called our neighbor and she said that her husband was still at their house. It turned out that him and a few neighbors saved our street and maybe the neighborhood. They put out all the fires in the palm trees and stopped what could have been a huge fire.

After my dad heard about what they did, he wanted to go help. Him and my grandpa went back to our house to go see if they could do anything to help. I was amazed to hear that my own father and a few other neighbors put out a fire on a boat with tall flames that, once again, could have destroyed everything. It was a long night, knowing my house could be gone any second. I felt so blessed that only one house in my entire neighborhood burned down. I prayed on Saturday night for me and my friends that said they thought their houses could go. I prayed for them, and, turns out, it worked. There were 97 houses destroyed just in my city. Brea, Anaheim Hills, Corona, and Chino Hills also had houses destroyed. Just think about all those people who lost their houses.

I feel so lucky that my house is still standing. Thank you so much for reading my article about what happened while I was experiencing this fire. At the moment the fire is only 19% contained, but, luckily, not very close to my house.

Here are a few pictures of what happened in my city of Yorba Linda:

Yorba Linda Blvd. in the afternoon and houses on Casino Ridge near San Antonio Rd.

The following are pictures of one of my brother's best friends' house.

Here, his second floor collapsing. The next picture is actually his bedroom. I felt so bad for him.

Here are some more pictures...

An 11 year-old boy hugs his dog while looking for remains. The next picture shows the remains of a house on a street just off San Antonio.

This image really depresses me, I realize you can't tell from what I'm showing you, but this image shows animal control searching for animals, and finding 3 dogs buried in the remains of this house, they were left in the garage when the fire hit this house.

In these two pictures houses are all either ablaze or burned down to their foundations.

Here a car dealership, and palm trees are burning.

I used to think I was invincible, like nothing like this would ever happen to me. It takes until it happens to realize you were wrong.



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