Saturday, August 4, 2007

Fire

We got the call at 1:25 AM telling us that the wildfire we thought had been contained late last night wasn't. Instead it is moving toward us. The ridge in the picture is the ridge it will come over much as it did six years ago when it took out our vineyard, all our fences but not our buildings. This fire has already taken several outbuildings of ranchers upriver from us; so far, no houses, but thousands of acres of rangeland. At least today the winds are lying low.
We've spent the morning moving big irrigation guns off the alfalfa fields and onto places that we want to water down to protect the barn, haystacks, cattle in the corrals. We'll move the goat into the yard shortly. At the house we've been running irrigation sprinklers in the "green space" as we call it for several hours now and set up special sprinklers up under the deck to keep them wet. All windows and doors are being kept closed as much as possible because as the fire moves forward it sends advance-men out, so to speak, of sparks and hot ash and open doors and windows can suck that inside the house. Fortunately we don't use the area under our decks for storage so they are clear of things that might otherwise catch fire.
I'm not sure there's much more we can do now except to wait. It's been 6 hours since they called; we can see the smoke now above the ridge but if it moves as it did the last time -- there's no telling it will -- it will be another six hours before it reaches the ridge next to the house. By then, the fire department will be down here and hopefully backfire as they did last time to divert the wall of flames twenty-feet high as it raced toward the house.
We've put things into the car but the reality is there are few things that are just critical that must be saved. Or else there are simply too many to sort. The dogs are agitated. Too much activity in strange places. So now we wait.

5 comments:

Deanna said...

Do update when you can. I hope it went okay!

Susan J Tweit said...

There's lightning all around our valley here tonight, and I'm thinking about your fire, Jane, and hoping it's finally out and that you have caught up on your sleep. Blessings to you and yours, Susan

http://communityoftheland.blogspot.com

Nancy said...

Jane,
I went through two years of danger from range fires - the drought finally broke this spring with . . . floods. There is very little I have felt as helpless about as watching billowing smoke and then flames draw close. Heaven bless the firefighters!

My thoughts are with you and yours.

liz said...

I hope you are ok I'm praying for you Liz

Sandy's Notes said...

My thoughts are with you and the ones around you. Please let us know.