Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fire Watch Too close to home

So, I came home sick today. Coughing up crap. Was at home in bed asleep with the cat laying on me when the house started shaking and noise from the airboss flying circles around the fire. Next up was hearing the sirens and seeing the smoke right outside the house. It doesn't help that the smoke and soot in the air added to my having trouble breathing. So, In looking outside and listening to the radio, the fire was 3/4 mile to our west. I called misbeHaven and told her to drop everything and roll my way and started our load out plan. I called our neighbors to let them know what was happening. Emptied the document pack out of the safe and loaded meds in that BOB. Then pulled the cats travel crates and their BOB. Loaded the docs, meds and a few boxes of family pictures in the truck and then settled in for a breathing break and to try and settle the cats. By then the SEAT's (Single Engine Air Tankers) had arrived. I talked about them couple months ago when the Dyer Mill Fire was raging.
Sorry, no dramatic pictures of the flames above the trees or the smoke column, I was too busy trying to get the essentials loaded and ready to roll. Next in following the SEAT's were the HeliTankers.
The two heilcopters started making quick drops on the flame front and knocked it out very quickly. Fortunately, there is a small lake that is not completely dry right on the south edge of the fire. If needed, the Gibbons Creek Power Plant lake is just a couple miles away and the Navasota river is 5 miles out. Once the fire was knocked down to hot spots, the helicopters took off for the Walker County fire that has been going on and off for a couple months. The fire was so close, the fire Boss was making orbit outside our house and the helicopters and SEATs were turning over our house to get back to the fire.

Lessons Learned, one hole in our evac plan was the flat tires on the horse trailer. I had the absolute essentials loaded out in just a few minutes even slowed down. Adrenaline is a wonderfull thing. I am still trying to come down off it. That's why I am typing. Can't unwind enough to relax just yet. Besides, the VFD is still out there fighting hot spots. Once misbeHaven got home, we loaded some clothes and a few other valuables and sat back and looked and thought, "Damn we have a bunch of crap!" Anyway, stuff is still loaded, the cats are unloaded but weird-ed out. I am coughing up crap still and took a couple hits off the rescue inhaler so that has me a little wired too. Need to rest and unwind.

Next is to pull wheels off horse trailer to wag into town and get new shoes on it so we can evac the horse too. As it was, misbeHaven called one of her grad students who lives close and has horses to see about getting her and her trailer over for Twilight. So that is where we sit. Loaded, anxious and ready for some serious rain to happen.
Safe for now.

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