Too close to home!

A post that involves dogs but not what I had in mind!

Last Saturday I published a post The burning of our forests! that included a photograph of the nearby Klondike fire.

Courtesy Jeffersen Public Radio

Then last Sunday I was speaking to Maija, my daughter back in England, and she was asking how the fires were and I distinctly recall saying: “Sweetheart, I think we are over the worst!

That same Sunday evening, around 9:45pm, in other words two evenings ago, one of our neighbours, Margo, who lives on 60 acres adjacent to the west of us, called with real alarm in her voice:

Paul, have you seen the fire that is burning just to the North-East of us?

I replied that I had not but immediately went to our deck that runs the whole Eastern length of our house. Mount Sexton is just a few miles to the North-East of us.

This is what I saw!

Taken on the 2nd September, 2018 at 21:44 PDT

Apparently, a short while previously the wind had blown down a tree that had fallen across some high-voltage power lines causing sparking that had, in turn, ignited the extremely dry grassland.

The fire was between Oxyoke Road and Three Pines Road and roughly 2 miles from us line of sight.

That explained why some thirty minutes before, in the last of the light of the setting sun, there had been a number of helicopter flights come across us en route to dropping fire retardant close by. It hadn’t occurred to me that it was an incident so close to us.

Many of us living nearby then called each other to spread the word.

Jeannie and I, in turn, drew up an evacuation checklist and started getting things ready. More importantly, getting ourselves psychologically prepared to have to vacate the property at very short notice: Jeannie and me: six dogs; two horses; two parakeets; three cats; two chickens!

Thankfully an order to evacuate did not come during the night.

So yesterday morning I grabbed my bike and rode to Oxyoke Road. On the way I stopped to photograph the smoke in the air.

Three Pines Road looking to the East.

Once at Oxyoke Road I chatted to a search and rescue volunteer on duty controlling the traffic.

His report, as of 11:30 on September 3rd, was that the fire was just 15% contained, was “pretty active”, and that they were keeping an eye on the winds that were expected to be rather gusty later on that afternoon. I am writing this at 13:40 on the 3rd and the present winds are 6 mph, gusting 12 mph, from the North-West.

I rode back home to brief Jeannie and found her working her way through an idea for evacuating the dogs!

H’mmm! I am not sure Pedy is getting the message!

But a few words from Sweeny seemed to sort things out.

So there you are my good people, a post about dogs! Sort of!

Fingers crossed we will speak again tomorrow!

Assuming we don’t have a repeat of last night’s spectacular sights!!

Photo taken by Holmes Ariel of the Hugo Road Neighbourhood Watch group.

At least this rural living keeps one fit!

30 thoughts on “Too close to home!

  1. Oh Paul, hope you all stay safe.
    I notice that Three Pines Road and Oxyoke Road (that you mention) are under evacuation. And also Hugo Rd. I hope this doesn’t affect you.
    The report suggests that fire crews are so far keeping the fire contained but only have 30% controlled so it really depends on the winds.
    Hoping you don’t have to evacuate, but thinking of you incase you do. ❤️


    1. Yes, it was the top end of Hugo Rd., 7500, whereas we are at 4000. But still way too close, without wishing to sound too selfish! Where did you hear that figure of 30%? Thank you for your kind thoughts, Colette.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On the fire watch website that you sent to me a few weeks ago.

        I wonder how exhausted all the fire crews must be now. It has been a long fire season for your area.


  2. My daughter in law was just checking online news on the fire. Sounds like they are working hard to contain it but I get it. I lived through the Rodeo/Chediski fire in 2002 and saw the damage from it. We were evacuated for 10 days. I’m a prepare for the worst and hope for the best kind of person. You are wise to do that as well. Pedy is cute trying to climb in the suitcase. They understand what those mean. 🙂 Keeping fingers crossed for you.


    1. Thank you! The challenge for us is that that ‘preparing for the worst’ has seemed like too big a challenge. The Hugo Fire did at least concentrate our minds!

      What on earth was it like being evacuated? Was your home OK? I guess it was a very worrying 10 days!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Were you in Payson in 2002? Heber was on fire and it was working it’s way to Show Low and Pinetop. Yes, it was a tense 10 days and staying in the Springerville High School shelter was awful. No sleep at all. I was certain it would never get to us as the Governor had a home across the road from us in a gated community. I was sure they would stop it before it got to her house. 🙂 Smoke was really bad and being evacuated at night was hard as I couldn’t see well to drive. Just follow the lights in front of me. Dogs were not welcome in the shelter so my daughter slept in the truck with the dog and had her loaded weapon under the seat in case someone wanted to help themselves to our irreplaceable items. I was right. The fire never got that far. You can find information on that fire online. It was caused by a woman who was stuck in the forest and wanted to be found. I don’t think she was charged or payed any fines for it even though there were red flag warnings.


      2. Ouch! I can feel your pain in your words even so many years later!

        We didn’t move to Payson until 2010. Indeed, back in 2002 I was living fat, dumb and happy in a small village in South Devon, England!

        But certainly when Jean and I were in Payson the world of forest fires was an ever-present theme.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You moved up as I moved out. 😉 Interesting. 🙂 It was very real and I never want to do that again. Hope all is well down there. I’ll check online in a bit.


      1. It comes and it goes. I think it has more to do with stress or excitement. Cant really find a commonality. Hence I ask everyone who works with dogs if they have seen such. My vet just shrugs his shoulders. Thank you.


  3. I’ve been praying for all the people affected by the wildfires for weeks now. I can’t imagine how frightening it must be to have one so close. Stay safe!


    1. Thank you, Janet. Yes, it was an almost surreal experience. It seemed as though 75% of my brain acknowledged that there was a fire really close by, but we would be OK, and the rest of my brain responded by signaling that this was it, what we had been fearing for days had arrived, forget about going to bed, it was 10pm, and we might be evacuated within the hour!

      It’s strange how one’s head can be in two very different worlds at the same time!


  4. Paul I hope by now that the fire is under more control.. reading down the comments seems like the percentage is coming down slightly.. What a worry for you and Jean, and not only to think of yourselves but all of your animals too.. I had to smile at Pedy though looks totally bewildered.. 🙂
    So many fires igniting around our globe due to the dry conditions and there have also been reports of huge lightning strikes across Europe too which isnt going to help such places that are dense in woodland..
    Hope all is well with you both..
    Now for a short catch up with your posts Paul..
    Take care. Sue


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