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Fire Near Lone Oak on July 25, 2018

While running to the bank and Home Depot in Morgan Hill, about 4:30, Stephen got a call from our worker who said there was a fire nearby, and it looked like it was near Monterey Hwy. We were only 5-10 minutes away, so we scuttled the rest of the errands and came to Lone Oak.

Here was our first view of the fire, as we were traveling eastbound on Church Ave. from Monterey Hwy.

Apparently, the fire had started right next to Church Ave. in the grass between Llagas creek and the settling ponds. Driven by the winds from the north, it moved south along the creek and ponds. The creek provided plenty of fuel for the fire.

Picture from our trailer parking near the south entrance just after arrival.

Another picture a few hundred feet further south on Murphy.

Another 100 feet or so south on Murphy a few minutes later.

Now this is getting scary.

Make that VERY SCARY!!


It was so bad, they closed southbound 101 for a while. Look - no cars.

A lot of people hooked up their horse trailers and came over, ready to help us evacuate, if needed. Fortunately, the wind was blowing the fire to the south and east so CalFire didn't feel we were in any immediate jeopardy, and told us we didn't need to evqcuate. But folks with trailers hung out for a couple of hours just in case the wind shifted - we would be ready.

In addition to the folks with trailers, we also had offers representing about twice the number of horses we currently have, to bring horses to their facilities. Woodmyst and Red Fox graciously offered their facilities to the extent that they had room, and a number of other private barns in the area did too. Our heartfelt thanks to all who offered space for our horses and to the folks who showed up with trailers.

CalFire got so low on water, that they hooked up to one of our fire hydrants and refilled their engine.

Gradually, the main part of the fire got farther and farther away.

The aftermath and devestation.



It's not completely over, though. What's left of the tree in the center is still burning. That means there could still be a flareup.

Finally, all that was left was mopping up - at least near us. We could still see buildings burning in the distance.

During the event, a propane tank exploded, and two PG&E transformers. Then, this power pole came down (in the center of the picture. Note it's about 1/2 the height of the other one.) In order to provide a safe environment for firefighting, and to fix their pole, PG&E had to turn off power to Lone Oak (and about 300 homes). That left us with no water for the horses (the well pump is electric).

So, now it was time to scramble and figure out how to provide water for all the horses. We were getting ready to go to Home Depot to get a bunch of trash cans to fille with water from our water wagon. Thankfully, the water wagon was full. Fortunately, PG&E was able to electrically isolate the work area and turn power back on to us and everyone else in only a couple of hours. Gradually, waterers returned to normal levels.

And with the power back on and all waterers full, it was time to go home.

We are very grateful to both CalFire and PG&E for their quick and thorough response. Our thanks and kudos to both organizations.

We were lucky. Very lucky. If the wind had shifted, we would have been in big trouble. We could have had only 10-15 minutes to evacuate. We were ready, but fortunately we didn't need to.

Others nearby were not so lucky. One nearby home was lost, and on a separate property, a barn was also lost.

And this nearby business is gone.

Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone affected by these tragic events.



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11690 Murphy Ave.
San Martin, CA 95046
(408) 683-2800