Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Great Work Near-Immolation of '08
This photo was snapped from the office window 20 feet away from my desk, and indeed shows a huge brush fire eating up the hill right across Highway 101 from my office building. (This is in Northern California...my Southern California readers will know this highway as "The 101.") Since our office park is basically situated in a bowl of dry scrub, we figured there was a larger-than-zero chance that this blaze would ride the whipping winds and jump the freeway to incinerate us all.
Of course, work proceeds without skipping a beat, even as an inferno rages less than 300 yards away. All the on-ramps were closed at the highway, so there was nowhere for us to flee in any case...if worse had come to worse, our brilliant plan was to wade into the bay (which is just a short walk from the building) and literally swim for Oakland.
Fortunately it didn't come to that, as the state firefighting helicopters swooped in like a Bruce Willis movie (a cool one like Die Hard, not a crappy one like Hudson Hawk) and extinguished the blaze with some type of secret alien foam technology. I'm pretty sure these were the last Hueys not assigned to Iraq, so that was a bit of good fortune for us.
You can watch a 15-second video clip of our rescue here on YouTube, thanks to the miracle of real-time near-victim technology.