Monday, August 31, 2009

Latest On The Fire

Hey everyone, I just got back from New Harmony at this morning. Here is what I witnessed the past couple of days:

Saturday Night:
I arrived after all the major drama, including a fire wall that was around 200 yards from my parents house. When I got there it was dark. At that time there were over 100 trucks in the town and I could see about 20 of them on the west side of our property. In fact we had a truck and hoses all over our property on 325 n. just north of the main town. The shots Kristy posted were taken as soon as I got to our house. They were taken west and south looking at the mountain. We stayed up until about 1:00 am that night making sure to watch for hot spots.

When we woke we saw the smoke settle down and surprisingly all of the houses on the mountain were saved, the fire burned all the vegetation right up to their foundations. You could see damage to the exterior of some of the houses, but the structures looked in tact. We couldn't believe our eyes, from what it looked like through the night we thought those homes were lost for sure. There were a lot of brave firefighters who deserve some recognition for saving those homes. The big tankers flew in as the wind died down in the morning and we sat on our porch and watched them dump thousands of gallons of fire retardant on what was left of the mountain. From our view the massive amounts of water and retardant being poured on the mountain looked like a few drops sprinkled on a camp fire. It made me wonder if it was even worth them doing what they were doing. We watched the fire rise up to the top of the mountain and by the evening the fire had peaked. That night it stared back down the mountain. As we watched the flames consume whole valleys and flames that must have been over 500 feet tall come back down the mountain we became alarmed and started packing up our stuff to be ready if an evacuation was called for.

When we woke the fire fighters had held the fire from reaching the town again. The category one team was ready to take over, and the mountain was covered in smoke. I couldn't tell where the fire was, I couldn't see many flames. The smoke in the valley was not too bad, and I am not sure how much of it will remain in the houses due to the perpetual campfire smell both in and out of our house.

I have to many photos to post, so I am going to post them tomorrow on a gallery which at that time I will include a link. Mom and Mel are still there and I am sure Mom will keep us posted when she gets her computer back up. Feel free to call me with any questions.


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