Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hot Summer Risks

We had a little extra excitement around here on the fourth.

It's been dry. Hot, windy, no rain -- the grass is already hitting a crackly stage that makes a girl nervous. This is the kind of summer I remember from college. The kind that sparks forest fires seemingly out of spite, without aid from lightning, humans, or even just a hot engine.

So you can imagine what happens when Independence Day rolls around and thousands of flaming sticks take flight.

We had finished supper already when someone rang the doorbell.

Or more importantly, when it rang seven times in a row.

I can safely say that when you hear the words, "There's a fire out back!" it doesn't take long to find shoes and a door.

Note: I'm standing in our backyard while taking this.

Before the fire trucks could get here, the entire neighborhood showed up. Garden hoses were unrolled and buckets were found. People clambered over the fence to start spraying down the edges, taking buckets to the visible flames and getting things contained as fast as possible.

Both Box Elder's and Rapid Valley's fire departments made it to the site in under ten minutes and within an hour, it was fully contained and limited to smoldering garbage. All told, a few acres of grass burned and a few people got very nervous -- it burned right up to the fenceline of a half-dozen houses.

And somehow, the broken down old shack was saved.

The trucks would return a couple hours later when it flared back up in two places. It was during this particular time that I realized I could have gotten a picture of them working with fireworks going off in the background a block over.

... Really, guys?

In the last week, it's only gotten hotter and drier and there have been quite a few more fires. As the worst offending day has passed, residents are getting much more careful and prepared. I've talked a bit about fire in the Hills and I'm seeing the same things this year -- contingency plans, off-site stockpiles, the usual fire bans.

It's that time of year, folks. Enjoy your camping and your trails, but please be careful and keep your eyes open.

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