I didnt get my run in today even though I had all the intentions. I was all set to run with Jena today as she is on W4 of the program and its much easier when you have someone to run with.
Then things changed, and on this amazingly beautiful 77 degree day with 10mph winds, the first grass fire of the season broke out 10 miles away from our house.
Courtesy of social media I was able to find out that it was a very serious fire, and they needed all the help that was avaiable. Once it was posted to someones page, another would repost, then another....until there were 40-50 ranchers helping to fight this fire, in addition to the fire departments for 5 of our surrounding counties.
Here is a good place for me to add that our fire department is all volunteer. Actually all but 1 of the counties that responded were all volunteers. Not only do they take care of their counties and their neighbors, when things get really bad, they help their neighboring counties. When you live in rural American, thats the way it is.
The need for help was vital as the fire line was estimated at 2 miles long and traveling quickly. It had ahold of 2 ranches, maybe 3, Im not postitive, but had already destroyed a meadow full of grass, was working it way to livestock, and had houses and buildings in it way.
Needless to say my run went out the window as soon as Shawn left because I didnt have anyone to watch the kiddos. Ya know, I really didnt care.
I live in such an amazing little community where the fire alarm sounds and people literally stop what they are doing, leave their families and jobs and go help. We gathered at the fire hall several hours after the fire started to make sandwhiches and get water ready for when the firefighters came back. There was some talk about driving it out to them but thankfully, that was the time it started to be under control.
All in all, no one seems to know right now how much land was damaged. Ive heard the fire line was anywhere from 2-4 miles long, and 2 miles wide and the damage path covered around 10 sections of grass (a section is 640 acres).
Not a single building was lost, no people were injured and all the livestock were saved.
The fire was so fast that without the help of the community, the chances of losing buildings and critters was very high. I hate to think of what might have happened if a person had been in a house that wasnt aware of the fire. According to my brother in law, where he was fighting, it moved that fast.
There were spots with snow on the ground this morning, so I have no idea what could have started the fire. Power lines is what I am hearing but Im not sure we will ever really know. All I do know for certain is that I am incredibly proud to live in a town where everything stops when your neighor needs some help. Where people grab their shovels and water trucks and go face a fire, a BIG fire, to help. It could have just as easily been us, and thats the rule we live by. Help your neighbor because its can very easily be you.
That is a lesson the rest of the world could stand to learn. Here in the Sandhills....we got that one.