that's a wildfire. about 15 miles outside of our little town. and yes, when i smelled smoke from inside my house, i grabbed the kids and we went for a drive. at first i wondered if we'd get to report a wildfire. but, i turned the first corner, saw the smoke, turned on the radio, and heard the guys' initial attack of the fire. i took the first three pictures as we were driving toward the fire. we parked to watch trucks move and an airplane fly over. we listened to the guys work with each other over the radio. and i decided that i needed a picture of the fire through the field of wildflowers. i didn't spend much time at that angle though. a young rattlesnake sent me running back to the truck. the final picture here is what i can see from my bedroom window.
it's saturday. it was slated to be a day off for ben. we were going to sleep in, go to the lake or go for a drive up into the hills, do summer/saturday/family things. but, fire season arrived with about ten thousand flashes of lightning over the past few weeks and no rain to speak of. our next family saturday will be in september.
the weather today is the kind that whips a fire into a wild beast. 25 mph sustained winds with gusts up to 50 mph. 80 degrees F. fuels that are bone dry. only a few inches of moisture since the first of the year. the grass around here looks like august grass, not june grass. the weather is the kind that makes those firefighters dig deep. whenever they lay down their tools and helmets and lie down on the hard ground tonight, they'll sleep the sleep of the utterly exhausted.
so, onward into fire season. here's to enough time for rest, and even a little time for play, all mixed in to a busy fire season.