Out Of Time
The wildfires that recently plagued California had gone from bad to worse. A family jumped in their car with pain in their hearts. They weren't sure where their border collie, Ella, was. Forced with a difficult decision, they left her behind. They had no idea if they would make it, but they were sure of one thing; they were out of time.
Business As Usual
She started her day by painting the ceiling of her master bedroom. The new carpets were scheduled to arrive the following day. She took a quick coffee break and checked her Facebook. Then, she read that a small wildfire had started in the hills. This haunted her thoughts even as she went back to her remodeling project. But she was unaware of the growing fire or the threat approaching her doorstep.
They had packed a few supplies, including their girl’s school books. The evacuation order hadn’t come through yet, so they didn’t take any further precautions. After all, the fire was ‘“…a whole bridge away from where we live in Paradise,” according to their 24-year-old daughter Kayla. To be on the safe side, Leanha placed her two daughters, Clarissa, 8, and Emma, 10, into the car. She assumed they’d be returning home soon.
Storm Of Ash
She took a look through her window and saw a series of black clouds in the sky. Leanha thought that a major storm was coming when she went outside. When she stuck her hand out, she noticed that that the drizzle falling from above was soot and ash, not raindrops. So, she jumped into action.
It dawned on her that the huge cloud was not created by moisture but by smoke and flames from the approaching fire. As the winds picked up, Leanha rushed to get her entire family in the car. Their time was running out. The area where the fire started was close to the town of Paradise, which meant, the flames were on their tail. To make things worse, the winds were causing the fire to jump from the woods to the neighborhood homes.