FREAK OUT – Fire, Fire, Fire!?

We have a new neighbor.  One of the more prominent locals bought the field down below our small farm.  It was always just used for hay or corn planting, with occasional cows to clean up and fertilize.  The nice thing was they left the hollow alone.  Over the last several years I have posted pics of the hollow:

He has been cleaning and clearing out the hollow.  Yesterday he stopped in to say if we received enough snow, he was going to burn the wood piles today.  We have burned wood piles in our yard from fallen branches, spring or late fall weed collection, miscellaneous debris but nothing like this:

brush fire 2-7-19 hollow

First, I forgot he was going to do that and, I smelled smoke – INSTANT FREAK OUT!  Started running through the house to see where the smell was coming from (praying hard it was not another fire), then I stopped and remembered – it’s outside stupid!  I casually came back upstairs and headed to the west window in the bathroom (best view), and sure enough, the massive log piles are on fire.

brush fire 2-7-19 hollow 2

It was kind of cool to watch because it reminded me of my teenage years.  Friends from Prentice and Ladysmith Wisconsin should remember the parties we teens had with bonfires in somebody’s dads’ field.  During the summer there was usually one or two that went on.  Some pretty wild and fun times back then.

teen bonfire

I still love our fire pits which are outside and only the size of a small charcoal grill.  I love the smell of a good BBQ cooking (and my sister is STELLAR at the grill!).  But get a ton of smoke floating around and the horrific memories flood in.  Roasting marshmallows – fantastic.  Roasting house, not so good.

I then spotted something I was not anticipating.  Little black particles and pieces are floating all over the place?  Suddenly it dawned on me what they were and where they were coming from – the burning wood piles!  Just as our burn barrels will send up bits of burned debris, so were these monster piles.  Now the rest of my day will be spent on watching EVERYTHING.  I could see his truck down by the fires earlier, but don’t see anyone down there right now – not a good feeling.  I am sure he is probably just down farther behind our barn, and I cannot see him – I hope.

Funny how something like a smell can bring back such fun and such scary feelings all at the same time.

good smell   bad smell

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Just When You Thought It Was Safe – New fire?

Two years.

It has just been a bit over two years since our devastating fire.  Now this:

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At 12:35 it was just the County workers – white truck and the orange truck behind it.  There was a fire in the ditch right by the white truck.  This space is between an off ramp (behind the red fire tanker) and a looping on-ramp (by the orange county truck).  Two workers were trying to put it out.  The wind was more than about 20 MPR from the southeast.  Right now you are looking to the southeast from our front porch.

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See the red “Wrong Way” sign to the left of the truck?  At 12:45 the flames traveled that far, the two workers were working backward going up the hill when it hit a thick patch.  The flames went over their heads; I dialed 911, and by the time Dispatch said; “What’s your emergency?” it had jumped the road (off ramp from I76) and was heading our way!!

My seven-year-old grandson was here with me as I was talking to dispatch.

“Someone needs to get here fast – these two guys alone are not enough to handle the fire with this wind!” Pretty sure my voice was shaking.

I love our fire and police persons in this county!!  They were here within minutes and used their vehicles to totally block the fire from leaping to our home/farm.  Yes, I was scared to death all over again!

An Officer came up and said that we needed to get out.  Can’t I told him, just called my sister and she’s on her way here.  He said ok, but be ready to leave at any moment.  It was all I had to hold back the tears.  We just got our home back!  I was not prepared for all of this to happen again.

I told my grandson to come with me.  We each took a duffel bag, and I grabbed an extra for my sister.  I told him to pack some clothes in it and anything he valued most.  Pretty sure his computer went in before his clothes (lol) (FYI – mine went in after my clothes – lmao).  We got the essentials packed up and ready to go.  My sister got home and did the same.  Then we watched and waited.

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It quickly moved from the southeast toward the northwest.  If not for the for the road, the fire trucks and the quick work of our public servants; I’m pretty sure we would have lost the home and more this time.

The place where the flames are in this pic is just a bit to our north – our neighbors cow pasture.  He has several cows with calves in there.  There is also a huge barn with hay, a couple of wagons and some of his equipment.  I told all of this to the Police Officer and gave him the neighbors name.  He said he would pass along the information and try to contact the owner.

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Several of the trucks, men, and a couple of tankers went up into the field – Thank God!

Now that it is all over, and I have calmed a bit, I drove past our driveway and looked over the field.  The fire got right up to his trailers (you can’t even see them in this pic due to the heavy smoke), and his first pen fence – but our guys got it!

Moral of this story:
Always pay attention to your nose – it was the first thing that alerted me to this mess!
Note: Our fantastic guys hung around for hours after making sure ALL the hotspots were out – I am so thankful for them and their quick response!  Kudos people!!)

heart full of love

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