Oh, Heavens. I spent eight tense days waiting for the fire come finally my way, another three fighting the most intense brushfire in decades… and I used up five days deciding if I was up to write about for this post.But I promised this blog’s followers how it did turn out.
Well, most of my firebreak lines held as expected save one. In that one, a dead tree caught flames and fell over across the firebreak, nearly causing a disaster. It was a really scary situation, being forced to build another firebreak line in a complete hurry to stop those blazes and patrolling back and forth from the area I was working one to the spot where the fire was swiftly moving in my direction.
Word of advice: when fighting a fire in a dried up rainforest, for the Love of Mike, please don’t stand near palm trees. They are even dryer, if you can imagine that… and can explode in flames like a matchstick just by looking at them. In fact, they literally explode in flames, even at eight to ten feet away from an open fire, sucking all the surrounding air in a matter of seconds. The one that nearly got me, made me stumble upon my feet and a burning branch fell on me as I lay on the ground, scaring the hell out of me.
After the main fire was put out, though, I was far from finished; there was the matter of patrolling the burned out areas, hunting for smoldering spots and still-burning embers and then extinguishing them by slamming them with the flat edge of a machete or dragging buckets of water to finally putting them out.
Well, the danger was over… till next dry season.
(A note on the photo that accompanies this post: there’s a place that I favor to take pictures of the outcomes of the fires. I take pictures from there to occasionally make records of what happens down here. I keep old pictures from that same viewpoint, but this year I goofed up when I moved the files from my camera and deleted the memory. Somehow, in the process of moving the files the dates of ALL the pictures moved have the SAME DATE of the day it was moved. I did my best to recall WHICH picture belonged to WHICH blaze in particular and WHAT year… but they sort of looked all the same, no matter what I tried… so I chose the best picture for this post and deleted the whole confounded mess. I apologize if the one that shows is an old photo… It seems that when you see the results of a forest fire, you have seen them all.)
Signing Off Off