Where there’s smoke… by Janine Donoho

Coming over the hills

Coming over the hills

Not a thing of beauty

Not a thing of beauty

We had a week—a level 3 evacuation due to wildfire pushed by strong south winds. Level 3 means danger currently affects your area or is imminent, and you need to leave immediately. As fire lines closed in on our Hardy Board home with its metal roof and defensible space, we hit the road. No house is worth a soft body standing between you and the inferno.

Air drop within reach of our home

Air drop within reach of our home

Undone by kindness, first at Osoyoos Lake Veteran’s Memorial Park, where they offered overnight space for our trailer and truck in a day use area, then the next day, when Atkins Harvest Foods responded with baked goods for distribution to fire fighters—gratis. We distributed goodies to BLM, DNR, and Forest Service crews along with local contractors, then took what was left to our local high school, the 9 Mile Fire incident headquarters.

Too close

Too close

At this point, 4675 acres have burned with two homes lost, 30+ buildings destroyed, and the fire’s 50% contained with too many hotspots to count. With parched sagebrush steppe and Ponderosa forest communities untouched, there’s still plenty of fuel to act as tinder for ongoing high winds, lightning strikes, and stupid/malicious humans. The latter ignited this conflagration.

So, on-on.

What does firewise mean to you? Have you changed your landscape to minimize wildfire damage?

Line of approaching flame

Line of approaching flame

Fire line within reach of home

Fire line within reach of home

Our burning Wildlife Sanctuary

Our burning Wildlife Sanctuary

A forest lost

A forest lost

Pines burning from the inside out

Pines burning from the inside out

Stunned wildlife take refuge wherever they can

Stunned wildlife take refuge wherever they can

Wildfire in context

Wildfire in context

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Soundings, Water Elemental

LaunchFebruary 27th, 2015
The big day is here.

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