One of the strangest things about the Southern California fire situation is that I'm not in Idyllwild for it. We started smelling fire yesterday when Zack, Keziah, Nathan and I went to Del Mar for a movie. It was the consensus that we Idyllwild kids are too used to fire threats; as we exited the theatre and took a breath I said "It smells like Idyllwild," and the immediate response was a synchronized "Yeah."
The ash began to fall at our condo yesterday evening and today when I left for work the sky was completely dark with smoke. My car is coated with ash, and the entire parking area is littered with branches and debris from the Santa Ana winds that billowed all night long. The freeways are packed with people evacuating from the surrounding neighborhoods, and when I arrived at work today it was clear that the fire has affected almost everyone who works here. The first indication was that it was easy to find parking, and the second was that the sales room was completely deserted when I walked through to my office. A large majority of our mechanics are in the process of evacuating, as are several managers, receptionists, salesmen, and service greeters. The neighboring Lexus dealer has three employees trying to run the whole thing and our collision center has closed for the day. Currently there are two of us answering service phones, our customer service manager has taken on the role of receptionist, there is one saleman, and a skeletal crew of mechanics. However, the dealership is situated under a small patch of blue sky, and in complete honesty I don't mind being here because the air is cleaner than it is at my house. We've basically been told that we will stay open until the air gets so bad that the mechanics can't work. I took some pictures that I will post once I get home and can upload them. I'm praying for everyone who has to evacuate, and hoping that I don't have to be one of them.