Sunday, August 3, 2008

Forest Fire Scare

I love camping in remote areas & I guess the danger in that is animals (bears & cougars) & forest fires. A couple of years ago when camping in this area we had a large cougar jump across the path not more than 10' in front of us as we were quading at night fall; that scared the crap out of me.

But this year it was a forest fire that left all of us shaken. It is hard to tell from the photos & I didn't get any as it was burning, but there were four trees up in flames & it burnt an area on the forest floor of about 20 paces square. We all laughed after as we said you never saw so many old people running around - there was fat & water flying every where! We have no idea how this fire started but luckily David spotted it as he was going up for a new drink - a few more minutes & we wouldn't have had a chance to get it out. The flames were already about 8' up the tree at that point. Everyone started hauling water & other campers from further down the camp grounds came & helped out. It was intense & we all thought we wouldn't be able to beat it & we would have to just escape with people & animals only. Dave had his chain saw ready to start cutting trees around the fire to keep it from jumping from tree top to tree top. Dave came & told me to get my van & kids ready to go as he thought we would have to jump in & run. Finally a couple of fire extinguishers knocked the flames down on the tree good & the kids & teenagers saved the day with their super soakers & put out the flames that were too high for us to reach. 911 had been called but we battled the fire for 20 - 30 minutes before it was out. Every one relaxed with a cold beverage at the lake & swapped lots of fire stories as we watched the lights of the fire truck going back on forth on the wrong side of the lake looking for us.

Hot spots started flaring again so once again everyone pitched in & there were quads traveling back & forth to the lake filling jugs. Again it was knocked down & shortly there after about 1 hour after our first 911 call, the fire crew showed up. They dug up the area & hosed it down good. I never thought to get photos of that but others did so I will post those when they are sent to me.

We were so lucky that there wasn't a breeze that day or the outcome may have been very different. It is really great to see how people will pitch in & work together when necessary. The fire was not that far from the entrance to the camp site so there would have been a lot of people potentially trapped.

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