Where There’s Smoke…

☆ July 16, 2012


…there’s fire. And where there’s fire, there’s a slew of firefighters. And where there’s a slew of firefighters, there’s an EMT or two on standby in case they need us. Job perk.

It’s been unseasonably hot and dry ~ no rain and 100ºF temps since May. Add a midnight lighting strike and you’ve got fire (two, actually, at the same time).  Add 40 mph winds and suddenly the fire has a 4000 acre perimeter ~ significant for around here but nothing compared to Colorado or Montana. It was out in about a week. Though I don’t want that sentence to minimize what it was ~ the local volunteer fire guys were working around the clock during that week.

I don’t have any actual fire pictures to share ~ on the first day of the fire, Mike and I drove out to see exactly where it was and where it was headed, knowing if it jumped a certain creek it would be headed right for Mike’s cows. I was so concerned for the animals I didn’t even think to bring my camera, an oversight I cursed when we reached the scene ~ midnight at noon under a black sky, entire trees alighting before us, smoke roiling over hillsides. It was…. gorgeous. It really was.  But not something I wanted to go back into a second time just for photos ~ I still have shades of PTSD from my apartment building burning down in San Fran.

Instead, a photo from the staging area (where we were stationed with the ambulance) ~ the heli that carries water to the fire. The round thing on the right is the giant bucket.


23 Responses to “Where There’s Smoke…”

  1. hello haha narf
    July 16th, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    thankful for your safety…and the safety of those in your care

  2. Nathalie
    July 16th, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    Thankfully the fire did not jump the creek and it was out fast. Firemen are definite heroes in my book, both rural and urban.

  3. M. V.
    July 16th, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    Glad you and Mike and your farmily are okay. Hopefully none of your neighbours lost any of their stock.

  4. Pat D.
    July 16th, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    We here in Colorado just got through the worst fire season on record (well, part of a season, it’s just starting, really), with hundreds of homes being burnt to the ground near Colorado Springs. I saw photos on the news– couldn’t believe it.

    Denver got the smoke from your Wyoming fires, by the way. Emergency lines were crowded with calls about people asking what it meant. Everyone was jumpy!

  5. Marg
    July 16th, 2012 @ 3:54 pm

    I thought about asking you of the risks for your animals in this drought but thought putting it in your head might not be a good thing to do. Do you have a water source for your animals? It has been hot here by my standards for just a week and that is about 20 degrees below what you have had. Crazy weather everywhere, in UK and Europe they have too much water and cold and elsewhere it’s too hot. I think we’ve messed this world up a bit and this is the price but then again in the age of the dino’s it was super hot too wasn’t it. Evolution. Man I talk a lot lol.

  6. Sandy
    July 16th, 2012 @ 5:40 pm

    Extremely hot & dry here too. Farmers turning their fields over as too late now to get a good crop and some selling their cattle now as they have nothing to feed them. We have 2 horses and NEVER have to hay feed from March to Nov. but this year we are hay feeding to supplement as the pasture is dry and burning up! 3 friends in CO SPGS all had to evacuate their homes, however all homes were saved although homes around them burned to the ground.

  7. Mary Laiuppa
    July 16th, 2012 @ 6:41 pm

    Funny. Those blades don’t get anywhere near close to the ground but yet, people still duck to make sure they don’t get a really close haircut.

    Glad it’s out and the animals were all safe.

  8. Patr
    July 16th, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    God bless all those who fight the fires and the support staff who aid them. Been watching red dirt blog of Carols and know how stressful it has been.

    So me a favor, the next three springs you need to photograph the burn areas. The rebirth is amazing to document.

  9. bonnie
    July 16th, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    glad to hear you are all safe. i admire your tenacity — i’d be scared stiff. but i have to wonder: did we do this? here where i am in the canadian rockies, we have had rain that has more than doubled all records — going out in it is like standing in a waterfall, and it has gone on like that for days. so much water that the soil is sliding off the sides of the mountains in some places, trees and all. we all need to pray for balance!!

  10. Calico
    July 16th, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

    So glad that all of you are safe again. Hope you got enough rain the other day to make a difference. And not to be flippant, but I doubt I’m the only person who wants to know – exactly WHY did Sir Baby toss Mike into the water tank ??! :-)

  11. M. V.
    July 17th, 2012 @ 5:52 am

    re Calico:
    Perhaps he caught Mike kissing and/or teasing Shreve and decided to put an end to it.
    Or perhaps, for lack of a better way of describing it, a younger bull challenging the dominent bull.

  12. Matt
    July 17th, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    Nice shot of the heavy heli. If you are so inclined, copyright-wise, you could add a pic or two to its aircraft profile page: http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/N192CH.html

  13. Deb
    July 17th, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    I know what you mean about the gorgeous moment. Az has had its share of fires this year and there was one South and another East of my location. Each night the smoke would creep in over the mtns and blow giving the area some sunsets that were even more incredible than the Az summer sunsets. Driving home under the July full moon the smoke gave the moon a deep orange-red color and of course I didn’t have my camera either.
    I guess the small joy in the whole situation is that even in something like a fire, there is beauty.

  14. Theresa Szpila
    July 17th, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    I worry for all of you and thank God you are all safe, at least for now. The prayers for everyone’s future safety shall continue.

    On this morning’s weather report, it looked like the entire country was orange or red, indicating the on-going excessive heat. And the weather reporter said that 80% of the country is in a drought. Shocking, that.

    I hope Sir Baby’s hoof has healed completely by now.

    Sending hugs and blessings to all,

  15. Sherri
    July 17th, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    Your in good hands with the Columbia Helicopter crew on hand. I’m in the helicopter business.

    That “bucket” while being a life saver has a cute name, they’re called Bambi Buckets.

  16. Holly
    July 17th, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    Thank heavens you are all safe..what a worry this must be for all of you and those in the surrounding areas. Thank God also for rescue units, helicopters, fire fighters, and EMT’s.
    Stay safe……

  17. Chris
    July 18th, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    Re the rain in England (UK/Europe)- we’re reliably told that now the jet stream has shifted back ‘on course’ it’ll be headed back to where it should be, in our case Iceland! Hopefully it will bring some relief for folks in the US too!
    We have really had enough rain.

  18. Shreve
    July 18th, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    Matt ~ thanks! I did.

  19. christine
    July 18th, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    You and your babies stay safe.

    Been there done that. In San Diego county, we got two huge fires – 2004 and then the biggie in 2007. It was like a hurricane of fire…

    Wear a mask. The particulates in the air can really harm your lungs..Prayer, sweetie!

  20. Priscilla
    July 18th, 2012 @ 10:37 am

    So off the subject but I really want to see a picture of your haircut. I loved the description of it and think it might be just what I need. If you already posted one and I missed it forgive me. Namaste

  21. montanarose
    July 23rd, 2012 @ 9:19 pm

    Living here in Colorado, and having already been through two major wildfires (the Black Tiger Fire in ’89 and the Fourmile Fire in ’10), we know only too well what it’s like to endure a red-flag warning fire season. This summer has been, until the last few weeks, hot and dry enough that we’ve worried about yet a third.

    But, yes; those firefighters (especially the “hotshot” crews that converge from all over the West on a major fire) are the silver lining behind the black cloud that is a wildfire — God bless ’em all (and you EMTs as well)!

  22. Jillian
    August 3rd, 2012 @ 8:56 pm

    This is belated, but we (as in the entire smokejumper realm of the interior West) have been sending boys to satellite bases and sending individual boys as incident commanders to WY. Hope it all burned itself out or was put out.

  23. I Hermit
    August 8th, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Shreve without a camera? I thought she had one surgically implanted!

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