Arger Report: #1
I am very sorry to report that it was a bad night. As earlier emails from others indicate, the fire crested Atlas Peak around 4:00am and made a really fast run from the saddle out by Stagecoach (opposite Chappellet) and reached the Perri's home with little warning sometime around 5:00am. Thankfully, they were able to evacuate, but I am so sorry to report that the main home, along with a garage (a single truck inside) were completely lost. By the time Doug Christian and the local engines arrived, there was nothing that could be done. Again, I am so so sorry Mr. and Mrs. Perri. We have been checking on things there since and I can report that the small cottage by the pool, the generator/pump house, and the lower house are all intact and not currently threatened. We got on the roof of the cottage, cleared all the pine needles, fired up the trash/pool pump and wet the whole cottage and porch down in case there is another flare up (still some fuel in the vicinity, and things could obviously change quickly if winds pick up and push south/southwest).
As for the other adjacent homes, we spent almost the entire morning shuttling between the Perris, the Manfrees, the Shepps, and the Choppings. The Manfrees lost their pool/pump house, but so far no other structures. Main house and barn have good perimeter, sprinklers going on the roof, and we took our trash/pool pump there that is ready to go in case things turn south (both literally and figuratively). So far all structures at both Shepps and Choppings are still in place and although threatened, (hopefully) have a good chance of making it through, namely because of the engines on site. There are now two engines up here that are effectively doing what we are doing; that is, shuttling back and forth between the Perris, the Manfrees, the Shepps, and the Choppings, and, rumor has it that more resources are en route, but unknown how much and ETA.
Fortunately, the wind is calm (5-10 mph max) and pushing northeast, which means the fire is essentially push back into itself. The entire Atlas Peak ridge line (looking north out of Foss Valley) is "black" (i.e., burned), and slowly working its way east/northeast into itself. Air is surprisingly clear everywhere except immediately around the Perris/Manfrees/Shepps/Choppings.
We just got back from Hockers (Bill, I opened and left gate open and had CalFire "drop a pin" at your house so they could go there and get some perspective at some point) and there is no fire in Rector Canyon, and nothing (at this time) is any further into Foss Valley than what is (and has been) burning around the Perris, Manfrees, Shepps, and Choppings. In other words, everything further south into Foss Valley (Derns, Hockers, Challapallis/Dahans, Keyzers, Glorias, etc.) is all OK at this time.
I do not know the status of lower Soda Canyon, but heard chatter from CalFire guys that Atlas Peak Road may be having some problems, which, if true, could mean that a fire works over into lower Soda Canyon from Atlas Peak Road ridge line at some point. Again, that is NOT confirmed, based solely on CalFire chatter, and even they did not seem to have a good handle on that when we spoke (around 10am).
Internet is spotty, so not going to attach pictures at this time, but hopefully the above narrative provides everyone with some intel. Thank you and we will report back sometime later today/tonight.
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