Our youngest son, Sam, had some respiratory problems earlier this year. He came through it fine but doctors at Children’s Hospital (Which, by the way, is by far the finest hospital I have ever been too) warned us it could recur. The smoky air has been rough on him so we decided to not take any chances and have him checked out. Just as we were in our driveway strapping the poor kid into his car seat, a neighbor came rushing across the street asking if we got a reverse 911 call.
We had not, and neither did she; but she told us that 211 (the fire information hotline) had our zip code, 92069, listed as mandatory evacuation as of 6:00 tonight. So I called 211 myself and they confirmed that we were to evacuate right now. The odd thing is, we live on a hill and there is no fire or even a faint glow visible in any direction. Plus, this was at 7:30, an hour and a half after the order went into effect—and neither of us got the automated call that so many others have in the last two days.
So I sent Amanda and the kids, with some of our bags in the trunk, down to Children’s Hospital and I drove a half-mile to the fire station. I knocked on the door and two fire men answered. I asked if San Marcos was under order to evacuate. Both looked at me and said no, that if there were danger they would be at the fire site. I told them the 211 hotline listed our area as a danger zone. They went in and phoned their dispatcher, who confirmed there was no mandatory evacuation order in place for us.
I called Amanda to ease her fears and went home. I told our neighbor what the firemen told me. And I called the hotline to tell them of the conflicting information. The woman I spoke to (and I’m amazed they have enough operators on duty to answer a call within 3 rings) checked with her supervisor for a minute and then came back to me on the line; there is a mandatory evacuation order for San Marcos.
Now I sit here writing this blog. Near me are the rest of our packed belongings. Looking through the window I see nothing on the horizon. Hope it stays that way.