Monday, September 14, 2015


The forest fire is too near for comfort and it charges through the forest and crosses the main power line supplying our area. Our electric power soon vanishes, and all the electric appliances fall silent. We don’t have a dedicated deep freezer only a refrigerator with its fairly good sized side freezer. Luckily it is a good high-end unit well insulated for minimal noise and as we found out, that also helps keep the refrigerated and frozen foods cold and safe for days.

Also fortunately for us, the freezer is only quarter full and whatever is truly perishable (mostly meat, no ice cream) we can consume in a two days. I tend to get foods fresh as often as possible so the refrigerator part is barely quarter full. Very few food items in there cannot last for two days even if the power doesn’t come back soon.

With an old hand coffee grinder and a stove top espresso maker, we get good coffee in the mornings with little extra effort. My range runs on gas, only the oven I cannot use without power.

I am reluctant to fry inside without a working exhaust fan so I use my camping stove and barbecue grill to prepare dinners on the deck.

I had two pounds of butter in the freezer and afraid of a long power outage, I place it in a cooking pot and slowly melted it to make clarified butter. Once I decanted the liquid from the solids, the remaining liquid is stable as cooking oil.

This fire threat is real, and we are packed up our cars in case evacuation is mandatory. After four days on this standby we remained lucky: no evacuation for our area. But the air is filled with smoke—this is a huge fire.

After two days in the dark the power company brought in some half dozen big-rig sized generators, parked them on a church parking lot, and our power is back. We have been standing by five days and danger is not yet over. Apart from the worry, we are comfortable and well fed with good food. The most inconvenience we had was the neighbor’s noisy generator barely fifty feet from our back deck.

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