My Work

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Fire in the Mountains, Run Boys, Run

That was a pretty good little scare we had on Friday. A wildfire burning across a mountainside close enough that some of our neighbors were put on alert to evacuate the premises. Black smoke billowed from burning brush and piñon pine, cedar, and sage. Controlling anxiety, panic, is most important in a situation like this, and most difficult.

Were we ready? Patty and I have discussed what to do in the event of a wildfire forcing us out. If it were just us, it would sure as hell be easier. Grab the laptops, some documents, a change of clothes, jump in the truck, and go. We have two horses, a dozen or more rabbits, and eight chickens. And one overweight, elderly dog.

Those little problems weren’t enough for us to contemplate yesterday. Our truck was in the hospital and we didn’t have access to it. This was our wake-up call. Our so-called battle plan just went the way of Dunkirk. It wasn’t a battle plan any longer, and it has forced us to seriously face reality.

We know we can’t bring the rabbits and chickens to safety. Maybe a few, but the rest will have to be set free and hope they can survive. Our horses must be brought out. The plan has been altered and over the next few weeks we will hone it down to a workable battle plan.

What goes? What stays? Prepare a kit that can go in the truck, if it’s available, and in either saddlebags or back packs if it’s not. If the truck’s available, Patty takes the most important stuff, what few rabbits and chickens we can get in cages, the dog, and flees. I take bare necessities, ride Poco and pony Sundance, and ride for safety.

If no truck, we each ride for safety with saddlebags and back packs full of most important stuff.

As far as safety goes, being on the horses will be far safer than moving with traffic trying to flee the conflagration.  We can go cross country and they can’t, we won’t be caught up in road rage problems, and you know they will exist, and we can base our direction on what the fire and wind is telling us, not just where pavement has been laid.

It’s the being ready that’s most important right now, because we discovered the stark truth that we were not ready Friday. The fire was almost close enough to feel, fire retardant had been laid behind homes that were close enough to be seen easily. Sheriff’s deputies were telling those people to pack it up. And we weren’t ready.

If there’s a next time, and living in northern Nevada you can bet there will be a next time, we will be ready.  Fire moves fast, has no friends, no will of it’s own. Que sera sera.

To everyone who offered help and good thoughts, thank you, thank you. We’re safe and out of harm’s way, this time.

Until next time, read good books and stay regular

Johnny Gunn
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