Yesterday was an interesting one on Sparta hill. Imagine if you will… There is a brisk and gusting wind forcing me to take my poly-coating work indoors. Due to fire concerns these winds have already caused power-outages throughout Wine Country and, despite the precautions, a 10,000 acre fire is already raging 17 miles to the north. Remembering the horrific fires two years ago, everybody is on edge. Inside Sparta I’m brushing Varathane on trim strips. The wind is buffeting my trailer and the oak branches overhanging are groaning. Acorns are dropping, tap-dancing on the roof and smaller branches and twigs join the fray, creating an otherworldly din. I try not to think about the possiblities. Ambulances can be heard continuously. Then helicopters and winged aircraft start buzzing overhead. Something is seriously wrong and I’m reminded of the end-of-times feelings I had in 2017 when a perfect storm colluded to burn nearly 200,000 acres in Sonoma County. I step outside and see smoke just over the hill to the southwest and helicopters and airplanes are flying every which way.

The first puff of smoke not 1/2 mile away
An airplane makes another pass to drop retardant

I suspend my work on the trim, get the propane tank out of the trailer and go rent a hitch in case I have to move Sparta.

Although this small, 3 acre fire was put out, the Kincaid fire to the north is only 5% contained and more high winds are forecast for tomorrow. More rolling blackouts are predicted. California – the new abnormal. Makes me glad I am creating this house on wheels.