Sunday, April 29, 2007


Yesterday afternoon, Zeke and I were playing with power tools on the patio, pretending to work on these screens we are building to shade the west end of the patio. No, we did not start a fire. Mostly we were farting around with the new piece of crap electric staple gun (which is going back to Home Depot verra soon). We did actually manage to put the L shaped reinforcements on two of the three screens, though. By this rate, we will have those screens done just in time for the monsoons, at which time they will get muddy, the fabric will rip from the frames, the frames will rip from the ceiling and the dogs will pee on them.

Back to the point of all this...While we were outside we were enjoying the rumble of thunder in the not too far off. No visible lightning, but later we had proof that lightning was indeed flashing. We also got about eight drops of rain -- but last weekend Tess's little league baseball game was rained out, so we actually have had some precip. Unlike last year, where we went literally months with no more than trace amounts.

Argh. Again I will attempt to reach the point: that lightning, which we did not see, but heard (okay. Yes, lightning is silent, smart ass, but you know I meant the thunder.) that lightning lit a biggish fire on one of the mountain peaks to the south of us. Cool.

We didn't know about the fire until we were sitting in our friends' backyard, miles to the north, and noticed this big ring of fire. When Zeke and Tess and I left our friends later, we drove down to within a few miles of the fire -- we have always lived in either rather damp climates or frostbite-in-three-second cold climates, neither of which is particularly conducive to wildfires. So it was pretty fun to go look at the fire burning the hell outta the mountain.

Saturday night the fire was burning in a ring down the front of the mountain, as in the picture at the top of this post. This picture is a close up -- you can see some of the fire, and you can also see the smoke rising off it.

We couldn't smell any smoke, I think it was not big enough. Last year we got an occasional whiff of smoke as the mountains just to the east of this one burned, but we didn't even smell smoke when we were pretty close to the fire. (Actually there was a pretty good wind blowing so the smoke was probably being blown away from us).

This afternoon Mark and I drove back to the spot where we took the photos last night, and took a few more. So obviously the spots with smoke rising from them show where the fire burned, and that lighter color ridge in the foreground is the ridge in the first photo. And the mountain in the background was pretty much the same color as the ridge in the foreground yesterday before the fire.

The local news is reporting that it is still burning, but not endangering any homes, and in fact is beneficial, since it's burning away years of accumulated debris and dead brush. As long as it continues to burn away from the homes 2 1/2 miles away they will let it burn. As of about the time this last picture was taken it had burned 460 acres.

Cool start to the fire season.

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