Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wildfire Danger

Wildfires across the country have been all over the news. The worst has been here in Washington state with even the national news covering the fire in Cle Elum.

Some who know I am from Washington have inquired if we are safe and currently we are. The big wildfire getting all the attention is on the other side of the Cascade Mountains. However, the status of our safety could change anytime over the weekend.

Once the summer finally arrived here, it arrived with a vengeance. Temperatures have been a minimum of 10` above normal and the countryside baked in record time. Currently we're in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures in Seattle projected in the mid to high 90s.

Temperatures here have been running at least 5` above Seattle. if that's not bad enough thunderstorms are predicted beginning tomorrow. Being in the Cascade foothills, when they predict thunderstorms, we tend to be in the area that gets them.

These weather conditions have lead to wildfire warnings on this side of the mountains. As parched as my farm is getting, I'm taking no chances. I have all my sprinklers running and I'm soaking all around my house and my barns. 

I'm hoping I've soaked the ground enough I'll be able to widen the area I'm wetting down so if fire does start in our area my fields won't ignite from sparks.
I'll be keeping that up until the danger passes. Hopefully Mother Nature will be kinder to us than others across the nation but I must admit this is the scariest summer I have ever seen.

16 comments:

  1. It must be awful, we over here dont have that problem, so I dont think we fully understand. Our thoughts are with you!

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    1. Cheyenne, we on this side of the mountains don't usually have this problem either. We have fire warnings sometimes when it's dry but not usually wildfire alerts.

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  2. Do you have a firebreak around your property? That can be really helpful as well.

    Things are tinder-dry here in central California, especially in the hills. We are in the middle of the longest streak of 100+ degree weather in several years, and it's not supposed to cool down until the middle of next week. You're right, it is scary.

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    1. Snipe, this is a new one for me so we don't have firebreaks and I think on two sides of my property that's probably not even possible. I am always fighting the neighbors blackberries coming over the fence and with me down this long, it's a huge mess on that side of the creek. Between that and the down trees we still haven't gotten cleaned up from the winter's storms, those two sides are pretty scary for this situation.

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  3. As someone who had their neighborhood destroyed by wildfire (2006) I can truly say that I had no idea how fast things could go from seemingly fine to armageddon. Please take care and stay tuned to the fire reports. I hope the weather changes for the better for all of us in the high alert zones, and soon!

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    1. When I lived in California, I was involved in a wildfire situation so I know way you mean about how fast things can change. I went into this community to pick up my husband from a job and arrived a little early. Twenty minutes later the fire had caught up with us and they found a man dead in his car two blocks from where we were. It's downright crazy how it can change that fast.

      I hope there is some kind of relief for everyone dealing with this danger too and I sure feel for those people in the fire zones who still have no idea if their homes have survived unless they actually saw them burn. From what I understand many are in limbo not knowing one way or another. Heartbreaking stuff....

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    2. The Sheriff came by to let us know our neighborhood was being evacuated but really, to our eyes, the fire looked just as it had all week miles off in the distance. We went upstairs to pack up a few more things to throw in the truck and suddenly became aware that it had become very dark. Husband ran downstairs and yelled back up "We need to leave NOW". I said something about needing a few more things and he was like "No, NOW!". I went downstairs and the whole valley was on fire. The fire had come over the ridge and it was burning on both sides of the road. Totally surreal. Never been so scared in my life. Luckily no human lives were lost but many animals and homes were. In all 200,000 acres burned. Not something I'd like to go through again. Be safe!

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    3. Even with my previous experience, I am afraid I'd be just like you wanting to pack up just a few more things. This is the first time I can remember ever being told we had that kind of danger here so now I'm thinking in terms of having all my pictures together in one place so they can be a quick grab and run and you can bet my tack and particularly my show stuff runs through my mind. I can't even imagine what it was like for you to have to actually evacuate. I hope you never have to go through that again either. Just reading about it makes me scared for you.

      The scariest part for me would be the animals. I remember the cries of livestock stuck in a fire. There is no way we would have time to get them all to safety here. I keep running emergency scenarios over in my head trying to come up with some feasible plan but fire is so quick and unpredictable. I'm sure glad that threat is gone for now.

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  4. Still Hotter than Hell here as usual. Dryness and wildfires up north, same-old, same-old, happens every year. Only we have been getting rain in the late afternoons or overnight.

    Yesterday we had what was being called 'ground fog' by the media. WTF is 'ground fog' you ask? It's ok, I had never heard of it either!

    Apparently it rained overnight and everything was wet. As the sun came up- without any cloud cover- as things heated up and the dampness started to dissapate and steam we had fog... Although a few of the news stations just called it 'dust' even though the wind wasn't blowing? I'm still confused about it too.

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    1. CNJ, Ground fog is normal here some times of the year. Right now I would love to see it again. Any kind of moisture to fight the dryness. I don't know how you live with that threat all the time.

      Here and London are known for our fog, I think. LOL

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    2. We are pretty much built up all around us and no real threat of wildfires in the Valley of the Sun. When you get out of the valley and head up north or down south- the unpopulated desert is where the fire danger is. Not many houses out there or pavement to prevent the wildfires from whipping across the desert.

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    3. It's also referred to as radiation fog. It's not radioactive; it is the result of heat and dampness reaching the dewpoint. It happens every winter in the Central Valley and is a factor in some pretty bad car accidents, including a 100-car pileup a few years ago. Be glad you hardly ever see it.

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  5. Still Hotter than Hell here as usual. Dryness and wildfires up north, same-old, same-old, happens every year. Only we have been getting rain in the late afternoons or overnight.

    Yesterday we had what was being called 'ground fog' by the media. WTF is 'ground fog' you ask? It's ok, I had never heard of it either!

    Apparently it rained overnight and everything was wet. As the sun came up- without any cloud cover- as things heated up and the dampness started to dissapate and steam we had fog... Although a few of the news stations just called it 'dust' even though the wind wasn't blowing? I'm still confused about it too.

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  6. My sister lives in Cle Elum where the wildfire is raging. They can see the fire and smoke from their property. Thankfully the winds have been blowing the other direction so they are safe from the fire, as of now. I can't even imagine what those people are going through and not knowing whether you still have a home or not. Thankfully no human lives have been lost.
    The thunder/lightening storms that are coming, it is not a good time for that. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do but keep everything as wet as possible and pray that another fire does not happen.
    Stay safe and cool!! I can't even go outside right now because I can't breathe if I do!

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  7. We just drove by Cle Elum. We could see the smoke in the distance and smell it. We saw a lot of helicopters carrying water. The fires are so scary.

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