Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fighting a nearby fire

We had a thunderstorm roll through yesterday afternoon. We caught the edge of the storm with .18" of rain but across the canyon they got .75". Lots of sheet lightning and within 5 minutes of the rain stopping we looked out the kitchen window to see this plume of smoke. That's the corner of the barn for reference.

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It looked like it was right up the hill maybe on the DeGrote field but it was actually farther away on private land. For those who have been to the ranch, when you wind through the canyon on 293 coming from town, it is on the left as soon as the canyon ends (well it started there). Nathan and Lloyd worked there until well after dark last night and then got the call again today that they needed help on the frontlines.

I've been at home holding down the fort and interfacing with various neighbors about the status of the fire. Once I started to hear the helicopters and planes buzzing overhead, I knew it was getting more serious.

Then Lloyd called at 5:30 and requested Chuck head over there to help cut a fire line as the fire had jumped across the highway and was now on our side of the road.

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Lots more smoke this evening and a non-stop buzzing of planes overhead. Allison and I went up to feed hogs and the wind started to change and blow the smoke directly at us. Within minutes our canyon was filled with smoke. The fire is still a few miles away as the crow flies but when you smell the smoke and ash starts drifting down on you, one can't help but feel a teeny bit nervous.

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I'm hoping to get an update on conditions soon.We had planned to leave for California tomorrow but that will depend on what the fire is doing. For now we are on a very cautious alert with no reason to panic. We will see if the wind keeps blowing southeast towards the ranch. If we need reinforcements in the next few days, I will send out the call. For now, I am going to go make a huge pitcher of lemonade and some dinner for when the menfolk show up.

***** Update 10:15 PM: Everyone is home safe and sound. The fire kept them running all day so they are smokey and tired. They will head out again first thing in the morning. Good news is that the way the fire ran today, the ranch should be in the clear but we still have neighbors with property and stock in the danger zone and the fire isn't out yet.

Wind Whips Wildfire NE of Madras to 3,500 Acres

 



1 comment:

Kate said...

Please keep Mike and I in mind if you need more bodies! I am hoping that the fire dies down very soon and you still get to take your very needed vacation.

Aunt Kate

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