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On Wildifires and Evacuations Postscript

A month later.

The People: FEMA, The Red Cross, the state and county, and lots of businesses and folk local, national, and international are doing what they can to make life as decent as possible for the approximately 300 families that lost everything in the Echo Mountain Complex Fire, which was about 2500 acres of just over a million in Oregon to burn in early September. There are those that aren't doing as decently as possible: people who have property damage that isn't total and people who had no property to begin with.

The Coast: The first twenty seconds or so of this news report shows and describes what it was like the day of the first evacuation orders. So much orange. So much red. So many cars. One way out. So many vacationers trippers (with kids and pets). On the fucking beach. On fucking holiday. "Breathing." "Air." This is what it looked like when trying to drive down the only road out of town to the valley before it became completely impassable

The Car: Turns out our car has three catalytic converters and oodles of delicate sensors to regulate the fueling of its 365 horsepower twin turbo engine. Lotta stuff for a friggin' Ford Taurus. All the jostling around out here on their "roads" (see more below) along with all the smoke and ash seems to have fried parts of it to the tune of lotsa money. We got it - him, we name our cars, natch - fixed but are currently reviewing our vehicular needs.

We originally bought the car for the long paved roads of the Midwest.

I-94 between Milwaukee and the Twin Cities

It eats up Midwest miles in tush heated and ventilated and massaged comfort. Radar cruise. Auto brights. BLIS. AWD for inclement weather and a nice big Sony sound system to listen to over the sturm und drang.

The PNW, as it turns out, has many gravel roads where ground clearance and road quality is an issue. Heck, they even use beaches as state highways out here.

In order to use these kinds of roads and perhaps better runaway the next time a wildfire or earthquake or tsunami - why are we living out here again? - hits the coast we may desire something a little more gravel and dirt capable.