This evening at about 5:30 a few of our neighbors were out at our shop, visiting and enjoying a brew. All of a sudden we heard a horn honking so I went to see who it was and why they were honking.
It was another neighbor - one who lives a couple of miles up the mountain. He was waving his arms and shouting "Forest Fire. Forest fire!" He lives up the mountain from the fire -where there is no land line or cell service - so I headed for the house to call 911. He and two of our other neighbors - the ones who lived nearest the smoke - hurried off toward the fire...
The 911 operator assured me that help was already on the way and I went back to the shop to report. Soon the neighbors were back, telling us that fire trucks were headed up the hill.
Before long our skies were filled with aircraft!
A helicopter made trip after trip to Blue Lake (just a mile away from us and very near the fire) and by a little after 6 a very large airplane arrived to dump bright red retardant. There must have been more than one of them, because it was only a few minutes before another and then another came to dump more.
I think it's interesting that this photo caught the image of water falling - but my eyes had not!
I am very grateful for the fire fighting tools we have today. Forty years ago when a fire broke out, it was men with chain saws, shovels, and axes who tried to control it. Sometimes they brought in bulldozers to create a fire line.
Today, while they did take tanker trucks and a crew up the mountain, they had the benefit of huge amounts water and retardant being dumped from the air. The fire was out within less than 3 hours. We're fortunate because the water supply is so close, but it was only a little over an hour from the time the fire was reported until the retardant was coming down.
I imagine there's still a crew up there checking for hot spots, but boy - what a difference!
I'm also grateful that this has been a cooler summer and we've had good rain storms periodically.