Labor Day – September 7, 2020

“We have a fire up somewhere to the northwest. Smoke showing really strong.”

Just what you don’t want to get messaged to you when you have about a 45 minute drive ahead of you. The day was very windy and we had a month of very hot, dry temperatures and conditions. The vegetation and air has been very dry. The variety of weed trees (chokecherry, hawthorn, poplar and cottonwood) are in various signs of heat stress. As I began my drive home the smoke was strong near my place of employment.

Halfway home the small town I pass through was in a blanket of thick smoke and as I drove out of the low part of the valley you could clearly see it was coming from the direction of the reservoir down the canyon of Highway 71.

This was the view that greeted me from the top of our driveway

After the sun had set the evening sky began to glow red. It was going to be a long night for us.

The high winds were forecast to continue through the night and due to the direction of those winds, we expected that the fire would eventually be on our property. Our daughter & I started to pack the travel trailer and the van with clothing and whatever we considered irreplaceable and necessary. We had no idea if we would have to live in the trailer for some time or what was before us.

Keith & the boys went out in the dark to gather up the electric fence wire, posts and the charger that we had set out in a section within the back 40. We had ran the bulls out there for a couple of weeks. They had since been moved to another field few days previous but the fencing material just hadn’t been picked it up yet. If we would need to use it to contain the cattle because of being displaced by fire, it was worth the effort to retrieve it … even if it was in the dark. We also knew that if for some reason we would have to run the cows that direction for their safety that we didn’t want them to balk at the presence of the hotwire that is meant to keep them contained. Nor did we want to loose a valuable asset used in our management of our land.

But as the boys were out gathering up the electric fencing we received evacuations orders from a deputy sometime around 10pm. Yes, it definitely was going to be a long night.

Until next time…


2 thoughts on “Labor Day – September 7, 2020

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