The first I heard the word Evacuation, in the form of a directive from higher authority, was in 1979 during the Iranian Revolution. I was living in a remote village in southern Iran on a construction project that had at least five more years to complete. I was aware that the revolution was in full swing, but my sense was that the Shah would be ousted, the Mullah’s would move in and everything would be back to normal. There were signs that the situation was getting hostile, so when the company finally said leave, I was ready. Life as I knew it was about to change drastically. I was never to return; my job, our only source of income was gone; I had no home so there was no place to go. My young wife and I were adrift.
We were young and foolish, full of confidence and adventure and ready to face whatever came, so we decided to take a six week vacation and tour Europe. I don’t really remember thinking about, fretting about or worrying about what was to come next. We were smart enough to realize that what was happening to us was completely beyond our control, and we could only make the best of what we were able control.
Now, 39 years later, the call came again in the form of a mandantory evacuation due to the Carr Fire in the Trinity/Shasta county forest area. We didn’t have a lot of time, so we finished our dinner, gathered up the dogs, vital papers, three days of clothes and left quickly. Our plan was to drive south and find the first hotel we could find that would take the dogs, ride out the storm and deal with the consequences later. I felt eerily calm and resolute. Again, everything was out of our control. At stake this time, however was, our retirement home, 40 years of memories and priceless (to us) collectibles; in other words all we had worked for. I knew that I, my wife and my dogs would live through it.
On our 2nd day of exile, our local TV weatherman posted a map, showing where the fire was and what the containment levels were. As I recall