This week Sue and I decided to get a space at Canton Trade Days (First Monday) and try to raise a little extra money. Sunday afternoon, Sue got a call from her daughter Carla concerning a fire near our house. I headed out from First Monday to check on the fire when I got a call from Carla that she had loaded the dogs and cat and left the house and said she could see flames just beyond the creek that is north of the house. Now I’m really concerned, I know how many pines we have around the house and they go up like roman candles.
Coming down highway 19 toward the house, I could see smoke from the general direction of our house. The closer I got, the more it looked like it could be our house. As I turned onto CR 3103 I was now behind the Wills Point Volunteer Fire Department and they turned down the drive to our house. Another had turned down the drive leading to my neighbors house. As I came down our drive the smoke was so thick I could not see the house. So thick that for a bit I was afraid to drive on to the house.
I pulled over into the field that I had used for a garden at one time to wait and see what was going on. Another fire truck pulled past me and I followed him to the house. The firemen had passed our house and went as far as they could to the back of our property. There was much smoke and I could see flames in the ravine that crosses our property. At this point I went into the house to get a few things of value and our medicine. I had been on the phone with Sue a couple of times and she was closing our First Monday Store and coming home. For some reason I grabbed the camera and started taking pictures of all the furniture and stuff for insurance purposes if needed. This is when I really started thinking of Darcy’s blog about preparedness
I was carrying things to my truck when I saw flames jump sky high from the trees along the creek behind the house. I summoned the firemen working at the north end of the property and they sent one of their trucks. This was a pickup pulling a water buggy with a gas pump. Worked really well and did the job of containing the fire at this point. I got the water hose to keep this area under control while they went back to another hot spot. They had to come back to this spot several times to contain the fire.
Help from above in the form of a couple of crop dusters. One of these guys was really fast. They flew so low you didn’t know they were there until they were just overhead. They flew low and fast making numerous passes they flew with a watchful eye after the fire was out. I’ll have to find out later who they were. What a job.
They were so fast I was not able to get really good pictures of them.
It was quite impressive.
More to come tomorrow.
By now Tonja and Richard (Sue’s daughter and son-in-law) had arrived. They were setting out sprinklers to wet the dry grass around the house. Later Tonja, Sue, Richard and I got out with the tractor and cleaned up the dry pine needles around the house. What a help they all were.
I wish this was a better picture.
3 AM next morning.
Carla woke Sue and I up at 3:00 am and said the fire had started again. I got dressed and went out to see what was happening. Carla and I got the water hose pulled out to the back fence just in case it got worse. A cool front had come in and the wind was making some of the logs blaze up again. We watched for a couple of hours to make sure they did not spread. Even at 6:00 am I can still see burning embers. Danger still is not passed. Late yesterday we had a few light rain showers but not enough to do much good. It has now cooled off to 68 degrees. What a relief from all the heat Texas has had for the last month.
There is still a lot of smoke coming from the woods behind the house.
This fire started on VZCR 3104 which is north of us about 3,000 feet. Carla and Sue had heard fireworks from that direction earlier in the day. Maybe that was the cause. I’ll drive around and take a look this am and see where all the damage is. At this point all I know is what happened on our property and some of what happened on my neighbors property. As far as I know, there was no property loss.
Special thanks to the volunteer fire department from Edgewood and Wills Point. I’m sure there were others helping, but these are the only ones I saw on our property.
Thank God for Carla. She and her daughter had made plans to go to Six Flags this day, but for whatever reasons they stayed home. Had they not been here to direct the firemen to our property things could have been much worse.
Thank God, everyone is safe.