Report from Paradise
"The fire was fully contained on Monday morning, with most of the fire trucks heading home. They are still 'mopping up,' and people are assessing what's left of their homes.
"My neighbor, Betty, who is approaching her 90th year, as she puts it, drove in convoy, to a little town called Williams, where she stayed in a Motel 6 for four days. When she was coming home on Monday, she was in the long line of fire trucks leaving town. She said it was really exciting. All were waving and cheering and holding up banners thanking the firefighters.
"In the future, I will rethink the evacuation process before I jump into my car. After I came home, I called the manager of our complex and asked him if he left. He said no. I asked him, for future reference, who would tell us to evacuate. He said that he would be notified, and he would come knocking on my door.
"Next time I'll wait for the knock. It was very hard driving my little shifter up hills in bumper to bumper traffic. I never got out of first gear for three hours! It's a wonder that she didn't over-heat. I sure did; afraid the whole time I'm going to slide backward into the car behind me.
"It seems that no one told us we had to leave; someone just saw someone packing up their car, and like lemmings, we all followed along. Duh!"