August 29, 2009

Let It Burn--For Now, Anyway

A brief but noisy thunderstorm rolled over us this afternoon, dropping 0.4 inches of rain.

Around 5 p.m. the telephone rang--a fire call.

I dressed in PPE and drove to the address indicated. Met another guy in a Jeep on the road--a retired police lieutenant from a nearby town (one of my students from my old community-college teaching days). He pointed out the fire--up a ridge to the west, clearly a lightning strike.

So it was not at the address that I was given--that was merely where it had been spotted from.

Then the fire department board president rolled up, asking if anyone had brought the brush truck. No, not yet.

A bunch of guys were down at the fire house (none of our core group of firefighters--in fact, I knew only one of them).

It seemed the fire was on private land, and the landowner is one of the core group. He was on his way back. These facts were apparent:

  • There was no way to take the brush truck to the site.
  • There was perhaps no way to get there without hiking or an ATV. I was neutral, meaning I would hike it if asked.
  • The landowner had been contacted and was on his way back.

Then a deputy sheriff arrived. He had talked to the landowner too. He said that the landowner was going to ride up there (past a couple of locked gates) on an ATV with a water pump and "deal with it himself."

Well, OK. Everyone dispersed. The fire was not threatening any structures up there, nor was it on national forest land yet.

I got home to find supper on the table.

But I left my fire pack in my vehicle just in case ... until tomorrow morning, anyway.

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