Burning the Home Fires; LITERALLY

On Monday, many people saw a post Adam wrote about a grass fire at our house.  Ruth, you wanted my side of the story?   This one’s for you!  🙂

Having looked at Monday’s forecast over the weekend, both Adam and I decided that Monday would be the perfect day to burn the prairie grass by the road.  We also thought it would be good to burn the pampas grass and our burn pile while we were lighting matches.  It had been a few years since this area had been burned:

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The wind was perfect, the temp was great, and the burn was under control.

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 We were left with a nice, clean burn.  Great.  Wonderful.

While we were burning the front, our burn pile by our chicken coop was smoldering.  After we were happy with how the front patch of grass burned, we went back to our small burn pile and pampas grass to check on how it was doing.  This is what we saw:

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Again, great.  Nothing to worry about.

Being the generous people we are, we headed down to my in-laws south pasture to see if they needed help burning.  Once we arrived, we found my father and brother -in law overseeing their fire.  Everything was in control and they didn’t really need another eye.  What was needed was for an aunt and uncle to pick up a cute nephew from daycare before it closed.  Adam and I headed back into town, picked up the little cutie and came back to the farm.  Normally, we would drive by our house to go to my in-laws, but instead we just headed south out of town, going no where near our house.  Adam dropped me and our nephew off at the farm house, while he went back to the south pasture to drop off a sprayer.  My mother-in-law and I played with our nephew for a bit.  After a while I decided it was time for me to head home.  Wanting to enjoy the wonderful evening, I decided to walk home.  I had plenty of daylight and, while I had a few school things to do, I wasn’t in that big of a hurry to get a few things done.

As I was getting closer to our house I noticed there appeared to be a truck parked on the road in front of our house.  While I was alarmed, I didn’t think too much of it.  We live in a pretty rural part of town and trucks are common.  Really common.  What did get my attention and my heart racing was when I saw another truck pull around the front of the other truck  parked on the road.  This truck had lights.  Not just headlights, but emergency lights.  And they were on.

“What the &$%?” , I thought.  At this point I was pretty sure what type of trucks these were.  Five years ago (almost to the day), we had a grass fire that got away from us and we ended up having our local fire department come out.  That in itself is another story.

I walked a little faster, my eyes peeled to the road ahead of me to see if I could find out anymore answers.  Was the truck really in front of our house or did it just look like it was?  Maybe they’re parked in front of our house and they’re really there for one of our neighbors?

It felt like forever until I could get to our house.

Just as I was walking across the bridge, I could see the trucks leaving.

When I walked up to our house, this is what I saw:

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Our initial burn didn’t come out this far.  This burn was a lot closer to our south tree row.  WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?!  (ok, ok, that’s not exactly what I said, but I think you get the point…)Then as I walked further up the hill, I saw a lot more of the damage.

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This is the view from our front door.

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See how close it got to our cedar tree?  If the flames were any higher, I’m sure it would not have been a good thing.

 We later learned that our neighbors (our dear, dear neighbors) came over once they saw the flames.  They tried to stamp out the flames and were even seen using sticks to try to put out the fire.  As soon as they realized they wouldn’t be able to do it themselves, they had called the fire department.  We are so unbelievably thankful for our neighbors.

We are so INCREDIBLY thankful nothing was damaged besides our crappy Bermuda grass.  INCREDIBLY thankful.  We spent the rest of the night going of the “what ifs” in our minds.  But really, I’m not sure there was much we could have done to prevent it.  What we figured happened was that an ember from the burn pile reignited and a bit of wind carried it across the yard.  So, even if we would have been home, we more than likely would have been inside unaware of the new spark.

All I have to say is, we were very fortunate.  Are very fortunate.

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