I went out into the mountains yesterday with my family. The flames were nowhere close to my oldest daughter's home and everything there is ok. The flames were within inches of my home which has a partly constructed addition going on. The walls are still plywood. I have no idea why it is still standing, but there it is; safe and sound. Almost everything on the surrounding ten acres was at least flashed over, and a portion of it which we had not cleared burned hot and heavy. My water tank, well house, pressure tank are all gone or messed up. The well pressure tank actually exploded, probably from contained steam. The brass fittings on the other devices melted completely away. The 7000 gallon water tank is completely empty, whether from leakage or evaporation. The propane in my tank is gone, who knows how that leak affected the fire there. All exposed plastic faucets or electric wire cables have oompletely melted. The fire burned around the edges of my wooden planter boxes, and any mulch made from chippings obviously burned really hot, because the ground is white and bare in those places. The fire burned all around the greenhouse, but did not touch the structure. It even melted some pots next to the greenhouse, leaving lumps of soil in the places. It is very dry inside; I will be buying a tank for the back of my SUV tomorrow, so I can haul water up on Sunday when I go back. The roses, trees and shrubs are mostly gone, although some will arise from the ashes. The saddest plant losses are the native Englemann oaks and the manzanita. Both of the oaks look lost, but these plants are surprising. They are still alive at the heart and some will put out new leaves and branches as they have time to recover. The manzanita is definitely a California plant that regrows after burns, and will start again up from the roots. My goats did die in the fire. There were two neighbors who (foolishly) stayed; they have been taking care of other animals, including my middle daughter's goats which did survive. The fire scorched all around the cage, right up to the wire. This family's house was in a quonset hut (made of heavy rounded steel arches.) It is a complete loss. The structure is standing there, but everything else is ash. The trip through the burned areas was completely strange. The chapparal looks like it was bombed. There are scorched sticks and yucca plant remains still standing. Everything else is scorched black on the dirt and covered with blowing ash. Despite all of this, we feel blessed. We have each other, and have stayed together all the way. I am so proud of my daughters and son-in-law, who are absolutely doing the best possible support and caring for each other and for me. We are still feeling shell-shocked, but are glad we went up to see how things are for ourselves. The fire engines were in our valley last night doing mopping up and the fire crews are heroes. Marguerite, who is well-cared for and doing well despite these trials.