Thankful Thursday: Thanks Firefighters Battling the Husum, WA Wildfire
Four wildfires started along Highway 141 in the Columbia River Gorge, just west of White Salmon, Washington on Wednesday afternnoon. By today, over 1500 acres have burned, 40 homes have been evacuated with over 400 put on alert to possibly evacuate soon. Over 250 firefighters are currently battling the blaze, with reinforcements being brought in to assist. High winds were expected today, along with 90+ degree temperatures. Add the fact that the region has received no measurable rain since July 20th, and it wasn't looking good.
But today's winds never rose and the fire, although not considered to be contained, spread very little. Fire commanders predict the fire will be contained in the next day or two. What could have been a catastophe may have been avoided thanks to the fearless firefighters who haven't let up for a moment since the fires were reported. They're struggling on very steep, forested terrain, with rattlesnakes and poisen ivy, yet they persevere.
Their bravery hits a little close to home because I am the daughter of a career firefighter. I understand, to some small extent, what they go through, what they put on the line when they're called to a fire. I've also been on the other side when Mel and I were evacuated from our home when we lived in New Mexico 15 years ago and a wildfire threatened our home. There's nothing quite like being woken up at 2 a.m. and told to get out immediately, then driving away from your dream home, wondering if you'll ever see it again. We did return home days later thanks to those brave men and women who fought that fire.
I am so grateful that there are men and women across our country who are selfless enough to do this dangerous and frightening job. I can't imagine the courage it takes to face down wave after wave of fire, especially in extreme conditions. Thank you to every man and woman who has ever put his or her own life in jeopardy just to protect our lives and our homes. And I pray for every one of them fighting this fire and numerous others across our nation. I know our fire is small compared to so many others, but since it's right here, in our daily lives, it has hit me square in the face... a blatant reminder of how things can turn bad so quickly.
I took this photo of the fire by Mt. Adams just a couple hours after it started yesterday from across the river, in the upper Hood River Valley (just a couple miles from our house). By this morning, the entire horizon was just a sheet of smoke and I couldn't see the mountains. That photo just looked like an exceptionally cloudy day so I didn't even post it.