Sunday, July 28, 2013

Smoke Filled Sky As Fire Exceeds 9,000 Acres

The sun glows an angry red engulfed in the smoke filled sky.  It is daylight, but not here.  The smoke is thankfully high and we are literally under a blanketed, enormous smoke filled covering.

It is not pleasant, but even less so after reviewing the evacuated areas.  Many people we know are not spending the nights in their homes.

I'm pretty sure Martha, who operates a small fresh goat milk dairy who lives by road about 20 miles from us isn't returning phone calls and her property is within the evacuated zone.  I left a message yesterday morning that we'd be happy to accommodate her, her dairy of goat girls and her 8 Pit Bulls......

Knowing Martha, she may try to stand her ground, it isn't easy to move everyone and keep up with the 2 x daily milking.  Goats produce milk whether there is a fire or not.  There is a chance she went to a friend on Hwy 97 South of town who has goats. 

This Southern view is from my porch where there wasn't any smoke yesterday evening.  It's not a good feeling to see that the smoke has spread this far since about 9pm last night.

This small rural area everyone knows everybody else and a general idea of where they live.  I know from the evacuated areas that a Superior Court Judge, my favorite, was in the evacuated area.  So too, was one of the court clerks.  It may be a quiet court on Monday.

By contrast to the fire from 2 years ago, the smoke was lower and we could smell it heavily in the air until the fire was completely contained.

How strange that there is no smoke odor....but a good strange.

My driveway shows the view towards the east which is where the fire is.  Even people much closer to the fire don't see flames.  The heat sucks the fire up from the ground to the tree tops and then the sparks can travel in any direction for up to a mile.

There are now more than 1,100 fire fighters stomping, cutting, whacking, mowing and beating back this beast.  Their trucks sport the names of HOTSHOTS and other things that indicate the adrenalin rush these brave souls carry.   it is an interesting life. 

They travel from fire to fire, sleep in small tents, and form their own community.  There are likely many stories to be told within that group.  Lives are lived irrespective of hazardous conditions, or maybe because of it, there is a sense of continual urgency.  How many people meet and fall in love with a person or area, hang up their fire gear and become part of the community that they rescued.

Or do some young men and women become attracted to the lifestyle of the visiting fire fighters or smoke jumpers who parachute deep into the smoke filled trenches and decide to join them.  It must beat flipping burgers.  Lives are changed because of these people.

Here is a small grouping of their colorful tents, pitched touching each other to maximize the space they occupy.  There are rows or porta potties, a mess tent, catering trucks that travel with the group wherever they go.   These tents are camped at the high school grounds.  Last time they occupied the Fairgrounds.

What's more interesting is that this fire is within a couple of miles of being started in the exact same spot as the one from 2 years ago.

It is burning through areas of homes, all have been saved to my knowledge where there have been previous fires.

The fire is called Mile Marker 28 fire in Satus Pass.   A pass that I've longed called Satan's pass because of the accidents, trouble, hardship, fires, car problems and bad vibe that I feel when passing through.

I've been through much higher, much lower, much steeper, much longer passes, but this is the worst one for me.

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