Monday, April 20, 2009

Where is Smokey the Bear when you need him?

On Saturday Farmer B and I noticed that we smelled smoke outside and were immediately irritated. Although we live in a subdivision it is pretty rural and people think nothing of piling up a bunch of yard debris in their backyard and setting it on fire. This polutes every single yard downwind with overpowering smoke and sets Farmer B onto an angry rampage where he wonders what sort of idiot starts a massive yard fire in a residential neighborhood.

But Saturday's smoke was different. It was really, really strong and there was a lot of it. At one point the entire backyard was filled with a whiteish haze and it got too difficult to breathe outside. Then we looked toward the treeline at the end of our street and saw this.

We went on the news and discovered that a 125-acre wildfire was burning in the woods not too far from our neighborhood.

Then on Sunday morning the news reported on a 150-acre wildfire burning. Interesting... it was definitely growing. The wind was blowing in the opposite direction on Sunday so were were able to spend most of the day outside with only a light smoke smell. We spent the day listening to the drone of fire helicopters flying overhead carrying large buckets of water underneath. Then the wind shifted Sunday afternoon and it started raining hot ash and got really smokey again so we had to come inside.

Now I know that the photo isn't very impressive, but you can't pick up ash that falls on the ground. Obviously, it disintegrates. So these are the pieces that floated into my hand when I was outside taking pictures.

The smoke got so thick that the sun was obscured all afternoon and looked really strange through the clouds.

Then late last night we were taking out the garbage and noticed that the sky was glowing orange in the direction of the fire. We watched the 11 o'clock news and the lead story was the 400-acre wildfire and how amazing it was that it grew so fast in 24 hours. They aren't overly concerned because they're saying that it's not a threat to houses.

Let's hope so.

Update: Apparently there are two similar large fires burning in our neck of the woods. One has now forced 200 people from their homes into shelters and the other one (our one) still isn't threatening homes.


Darla said...

Oh my! I hate it when they do this.

Erin said...

Your family is in my thoughts! Hopefully they will get it under control today...amazing pictures of the haze, too!

Dani said...

I hope everyone stays safe out there. :)

Cheryl said...

Kinda scary. I'm sure things will work out okay. We're supposed to cook the tomatoes not the tomato plants.

Carole said...

WOW Kate, that looks too close for comfort.
Looks like you need to watch this one!

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