Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The fire is out, hallelujah!

First I apologize for posting then not getting back to people. I'm still learning this blogging thing...
The fire was put out on our ranch about 150 yards from the barn on Saturday evening about 8:00 PM. In the picture on the blog you can see the wide sweep of hillside. That's all black now. The ridge that rises up from the barn that's in the lower right hand corner is where they stopped it. Three fire trucks drove across the river from another county and about 8 more trucks -- three official though still volunteer fire trucks and ranchers and neighbors -- worked above to sort of "herd" the fire toward the rocky ledges. At least that's what I called what they were doing, using shovels at the fire line to push the burn toward the edge they wanted. One of the ranchers used his disk to work a fire line in the grasslands. Then the men and women marched down the edge with shovels pushing against the fire and smoke as they went. Water from the trucks at the bottom sprayed up and they got it out.
After that, they decided if they wanted to get any sleep that night after being up for 30+ hours straight and not wanting to worry about an errant ember firing up in the night and starting all over, that they would backfire a section. So about 25 men and women stair-stepped up the hillside dragging a fire hose and shovels and then they began setting flame to the grasses and pushing it back so it burned the green area until it reached black.
At times, because of the wind, the fire moved both up and down river at the same time. The BLM figured 15,000 acres had burned. We had power the entire time which was fortunate. Most of our neighbors didn't because over 36 power poles had burned as well, some falling across the road as firefighters drove past them to fight the fires. We get our power from across the river and it is underground at our ranch so we were all right and it allowed us to continuously irrigate around the house and around the haystacks and the barn and corrals where we had the cattle holed up.
This is the third fire in 22 years we've endured here. It's the second major fire that began burning far away but was put out on our ranch. We're so grateful for the firefighters and our family who helped and all the others from dispatchers and beyond who kept us abreast of where it was and how fast it was moving. We lost no buildings though our neighbors did. We may have lost some fence posts and our big irrigation gun has to be reworked today since in moving it the an out of the way place (behind the barn to pump water onto it instead of on a flat alfalfa field!) the wheel got bent. But all in all, we were most fortunate.
Once everything was over we fell into bed and then I was off finishing the photo shoots for the quilt and craft book so...I didn't get back to you all. Thanks so much for noting your concern.
Now if I can just finish this book....Warmly, Jane
Oh, here's a link to see the movement of the fire and a small photo of what it looked like in the wheatlands on top If I knew how to attach it on my blog,I would!

1 comment:

Gayle Gresham said...

So glad you and your family and your ranch are safe and sound. What a week you had!