CASCADE, Idaho — For about a week, the people of Cascade have watched and waited as the Four Corners Fire grows closer to their homes. Late Thursday, things started to escalate.
Vicki Blood and her husband Brock are longtime residents of Cascade. Vicki said they know living among the beautiful forest of trees comes with risk.
“We’ve lived here for 16 years and there has always been the inevitable -- when will there be a fire. Not if there will be a fire, when will there be a fire,” Blood said.
Fears of that possibility became more real about a week ago.
“The thunderstorms from last Thursday, a week ago Thursday, thunderstorms, lightning, all day. All it takes is one little ember to start a forest fire,” Blood said.
About 3 miles away from Vicki’s residence, people are already forced out of their homes and families near Campbell Creek know they could be next.
“We needed to get ready, pack and be ready to leave,” Blood said. “So, we got home and we are packing like crazy. Got some stuff out of here and this morning we continued packing things that we just can’t repurchase.”
Vicki said she is grateful to have some time to get things packed, but she feels for those who were told they needed to get out right away. The extra time, she said, is so valuable
“Paintings, originals, things that you just can’t go and repurchase. I was a teacher for 28 years and I have a folder called 'student letters.' Notes and letters from my students, that they have written me," Blood said. "I took those to a safe spot because I like to read them and remember all my students and it’s very touching. I could never replace that.”
The activity of taking inventory of what is most important, what is prioritized to keep safe, is something none of us ever want to do. However, these are the times families are forced to.
“It’s really a strange sensation to walk through your house and go, 'what do I need to take?' Go from room to room, 'what is valuable to me?' You have to do an immediate assessment on what you would miss that you could not replace, which is very strange. I’ve never had that happen before,” Blood said.
Vicki and Brock said most of their immediate neighbors are part-time residents who live in Boise. They have continued to get calls from their cabin neighbors, asking about what they see and know.
“Our phone has been exploding," Blood said. "There aren’t many people who live here full time. We are just kind of hanging out and waiting."
Waiting is the name of the game as Cascade watches and hopes the fire doesn’t continue towards homes and cabins.
“We are waiting for that call and when we get the call, that you can’t safely be home, we will have to leave and we have our three dogs and our two cats to grab and put them in the car and drive away," Blood said. "That would be scary and frightening."
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