This week has been an interesting one to say the least, we have been in a fire situation since a week ago Tuesday, these fires were sparked by lightening, they refer to it as dry lightening (I thought ALL lightening was dry), I suppose they are referring to the fact that there was no rain associated with the thunderstorm.
For the first few days, there wasn't much worry, just a lot of smoke, they nearly got it out several times, but then the winds kicked up and stirred things up. This fire is about 4 miles from my place, to the north west, our winds typically blow from the west. Fortunately the winds have been mostly calm and in our favor.
There was an evacuation order placed by the local judge on Saturday, there was much confusion as to whether or not it was mandatory, we finally figured out that it wasn't mandatory but strongly urged. The officials would like it very much if we would ALL leave, many did, but quite a few decided to stay, including my household.
For a few days there were state police stationed at the entrance to the neighborhood (there is only one road in and out), we could leave but we could not come back in. Quite frankly that is one reason why many of us didn't leave. I understand they were doing this for our protection and to allow the firefighters to work without worrying about who was still here and dealing with traffic. They did ask that we not go sight-seeing, and to stay away from the active fire area, the western end of the neighborhood as well as the fire station. Yesterday they decided that without a mandatory evacuation order, they couldn't legally keep us from returning, I understand they posted a notice that said coming in was at our own risk. That is fine with me, I am supposed to go out tomorrow and I wouldn't have gone if I thought they wouldn't allow us back in.
I can hear the aircraft flying overhead, and the helicopters too, resources assigned include four hotshot hand crews, two Type 2 helicopters,four single-engine air tankers, four heavy air tankers, 11 Type 6 engines, three Type 2 dozers and a Type 1 incident management team. Additional resources have been ordered and are scheduled to arrive today. Approximately 259 personnel currently are assigned to this fire. We now have the Southern Area Red Team here, they put out a huge fire last year in 52 hours (the biggest wildfire in Texas). We also have the county and the forest service working with together, a lot of this fire is on conservancy land that is just to the west and north of us. There has been over 13,000 acres burned so far and as of the latest update (I just received) it is 30% contained.
Here are some pictures of the fire, these were taken by various people (none by me).
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