Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Finally we get some news about the Yarnell Hills Fire ~ From some unlikely sources

Finally we get some answers about the status of the fire burning in our community.  And the answers didn't come from the Fire agencies or the news media covering this fire.

Today Paul Doherty, PhD, Public Safety Technology Specialist, who works for Esri, a software company that supports most government agencies with geographic information systems (GIS), shared an interactive map of the Yarnell Hills Fire on Twitter.   Here is the map:

View Larger Map

Immediately I could see that my community, Peeples Valley, was within the fires perimeters.  When I zoomed in I could see my street, and then my home, all within the perimeter.  Paul explained that the map shows the perimeter of the fire, but there could be areas within that perimeter that did not burn.  So even though most of my neighborhood was within the perimeter, it is still possible that our home did not burn yet.  While I was relieved to finally have some information, I still didn't know if my home was still standing or not.  I tried to call the different fire agencies working this fire to verify that it was now burning in Peeples Valley and to see if they had lost any homes yet.  But I could not get an answer from anyone.  Even the press conference held this afternoon didn't shed any light on the situation for us evacuees waiting and wondering if we have a home to go home to.  They just wouldn't tell us anything.

Then I remember that my home insurance company, Liberty Mutual, had called us Monday morning to tell us about a free service that our insurance provides called the 'Wildfire Prevention Program', where they send in a Wildlife Resource Team (WRT) into the evacuated area to proactively work to protect our home by applying a flame retardant material to the wood surfaces of our house, clear any flammables from around our house, including clearing the land of flammable brush, and they will even set up sprinklers on the roof to protect it from catching fire from flying embers.  And this service does not cost us one penny!

Knowing they were going in to the area to do this for all homeowners who had Liberty Mutual Insurance, I thought, why not call them to see if they knew if the team had done any protective measures to our house yet.  When I called I spoke to a very nice lady who seemed to be really concerned for my feelings and my situation.  She said, "I think I can do even better then that, hold on a moment."  She put me on hold for maybe a couple of minutes, then returned to say she had just check the status of the WRT working in our community.  According to their last update at approximately noon today, the fire was reported to be very close to our home, but our home had not burned as of that time."  She said the team has to leave the area each evening when it gets dark, and at that time they would be submitting a new update for the day.  So she told me to call back in the morning and they would tell me what they new.

Is that Awesome or what?!  I was treated so nice and they were so helpful when I could not get any information from any local agencies.  Now I have a little peace of mind knowing that as of noon today my home is still standing, even though there is fire burning through our neighborhood.  We have shared this information with our friends and neighbors in our neighborhood as best we can.

I want to send a special "Thank You" to Paul Doherty and to the folks at Liberty Mutual Insurance company.  One thing is for sure...if our house is still standing after this fire has burned out, because of the efforts of Wildfire Resource Team, then we will be switching All of our insurance policies to Liberty Mutual Insurance...because they certainly earned it with their proactive approach to taking care of their insureds. 

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
Follow on Bloglovin

Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!