Fire on the Ranch, Part II

As you may recall from a previous post, I had a “little” fire incident not too long ago. A few days after that, I was looking over the areas that didn’t get burned and decided that I’d better get it mowed to reduce the danger of another fire. The grass was pretty tall and very dry. So I went out and spent about an hour mowing it. The ground was very dry and I was kicking up dust like crazy. When I was finished, I was covered in dust from head to toe.

I went inside and got cleaned up. About 20 minutes later, I just went to the back door to have a look outside. To my horror, I saw 3 fire trucks out in our field. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t imagine that I had started a fire while mowing without noticing it. I slipped some shoes on, grabbed a flashlight, and headed out. While walking out, I didn’t see any smoke or flames. I was puzzled.

I walked up and greeted the guys and asked what was going on. They said that they had received reports of smoke in the area and thought that maybe our fire from a few days ago had flared up. So they were headed up to check it out. I explained that I had been mowing and that had stirred up a lot of dust, so that might be what what people were seeing.

I was also puzzled as to why they were just sitting there rather than continuing on up to where the previous fire was (you know, they area they wanted to check out). It was then that I noticed that the lead truck was buried up to its axle in mud. We had done some irrigation since the fire and the ground they tried to drive across was saturated. It probably took them 20 minutes to finally get the truck pulled out of the mud.

Sheesh, now I can’t even mow without the fire department being involved. We may yet be asked to leave town. 🙂

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Little Boys and Matches

It really was with the best of intentions that I set some piles of used animal bedding on fire last Wednesday. It was burning along quite nicely. Then along came the wind. No sweat though. I was ready with a shovel and the water hose. I actually spent a couple of hours dousing it. It seems that the pesky fire didn’t want to go out. Finally, it seemed to be out. However, to my surprise, it was smoldering again Thursday morning. No biggie. I doused it again for awhile. Then when The Wife got home from work, she turned the sprinkler on it.

She went to bed and asked the Older Daughter to keep an eye on things. In the mid-afternoon, the Older Daughter told The Wife that there were some flames. No problem. She was instructed to move the sprinkler over to water that hot spot. Well, thing starting going bad really fast from here. Now it seems that the Older Daughter simply had to take a shower as The Wife went back to sleep. Oh yeah, and Mr. Wind decided that this was a good time for him to blow.

The Wife was awakened to the kids screaming about the field being on fire. Looking out, she saw 5-foot-high flames and a racing fire. She called 911 and then headed out with the kids to do what they could while waiting for the fire department. She first stopped the flames heading toward the house. Then she raced over and put herself between the flames and the pasture fence to prevent it from spreading into the horse pasture.

Several hours and several fire trucks later, the fire was under control. Probably about 4 acres were charred. Here’s a small section of the burn:

Now I was at work when this all started. When I got the call from The Wife, she had some choice words for me that I really can’t repeat here. Also, I believe there was some sort of mention of homicide or something like that. Somehow, I survived and am able to report to you. (In other words, she didn’t break my fingers to prevent me from setting more fires.)

Hey, here’s something you don’t see everyday. Where else can you find a cow, a fire truck, and a fire fighter dousing flames…all in the same picture? This may by an Internet first.

By the way, thankfully no humans, animals, or property were harmed in the making of this fire.