Watching the news just now about the large destructive fires in Australia gives me much to be thankful for. My thoughts go out to those folks down under struggling with fire and drouth. Nothing is more frightening than a destructive wildfire, nothing more depressing than a severe drouth. The deadly fires there make ours look like nothing.
The several days of high fire danger have resulted in our fire trucks rolling out yesterday and today, and we have lost 4 buildings in the process. Both fires could have been prevented, both could have been much worse. The alarm yesterday was raised about 3pm. Two guys running a Bobcat loader caught the grass on fire south of their barn, the strong winds fanned the flames into the barn, catching it on fire. The barn burned to the ground, the embers from the barn blew out into the adjoining haymeadow catching it on fire. It was well on its way to the road, and had it jumped the road would have been terrible to deal with, but we got it out before it jumped. Today was actually a day that didn't seem to have the fire risk. We had more humidity and less wind, I didn't think there was much fire danger(I carried my camera with me yesterday just in case, today I was confident we wouldn't have a problem and left it at home). About 4:30 I spotted dark black smoke to the east, and not long after the alarm sounded. I am a bit sketchy on the details but from what I can piece together a very eccentric elderly gentleman decided to burn some brush and weeds in a field north of his farmstead. The dry grass carried the fire to his farmstead, catching 3 of his barns on fire. He apparently was too proud to call the fire in, or too weird, and when neighbors came to investigate was trying to put one of the buildings out with buckets of water. The best of the 3 buildings was filled with very valuable antique cars and farm equipment, we saved about half of what was in it.
Tomorrow is to be the last day hopefully for sometime with much fire danger. We are supposed to get a good rain tomorrow night. Generally a rain in February is not something I appreciate, I think a nice inch would be welcome if it cleared off after.