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Sunday, January 01, 2006

Wildfires...

It appears that the entire state is in flames. With tens of thousands of acres already charred and hundreds of homes burned to the ground, we had another rash of wildfires today with a total of 15 in Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas alone.

The picture I have posted is of the mid-afternoon sky from my front yard; a rather eery and thick grayish pinkish sky and not one cloud in sight.

We worked in the yard today. It was a record breaking 77 degrees with wind gusts of up to 50 mph. We were trying to get some more of the fallen leaves bagged. With sirens going most of the afternoon from fire trucks racing to the hotspots, it was quite an unnerving day. Not as peaceful and calm as I would have liked my unusually warm New Year's Day to have been.

I never water the yard during the winter months and reserve the added costs of watering with "city water" to the summer months. But not today. With many homes turning into ashes and two people already dead due to the wildfires I decided that it would be better to run my water bill up in hopes of staving off the chance of being without a home to live in.

With the threat of fire all around me I have pulled my water hoses out. The water hoses will run until I go to bed tonight.

Calais and Kyle had given me a brand new fancy and 'expensive' water sprinkler for Christmas and I fully didn't expect to use it until summer. I have to say that it is a really nice sprinkler and works very well.

Nicholas and Gabrielle spent the evening with us as their older brother and parents went to their grandfather's house. A huge fire, east of the city, was getting close to his home. They went to help put water on the yard and to help get his pets and any belongings out of the house if it were necessary. Thankfully their grandfather wasn't forced to evacuate and the fire department has the fire under control at this time. The fire was stopped just a few blocks from his house. What a relief.

Governor Brad Henry was on television this evening and gave an address concerning the declared state of emergency that the state of Oklahoma is currently in. Having asked for help from neighboring states, using Blackhawk helicopters to help control the flames, and using every available resource throughout this state to fight the flames, it seems that the state is becoming quickly overwhelmed by the situation. The White House has been contacted and a request has been put in for an emergency declaration.

Linda in Norman called and her friend in Texas who has an ostrich farm had her place burn. While the house was saved, it is possible that she will lose all of her ostriches due to the fire. Birds just can't take the smoke and the stress. Linda's friend is just devastated.

I am praying that this drought ends very soon. We haven't had any appreciable rainfall or snow here in over two months. We have been behind in moisture the entire year.

My yard is toast and so is the rest of the state. With these unusually warm temperatures that we are having it makes me wonder what kind of spring we will have.

We didn't have very many thunderstorms and tornadoes last year. And you know we had a tornado touch down just blocks from the house three years ago.

I think I'll start praying now.

later...

1 Comments:

Blogger Moof said...

TJ ... I've been watching the fires with growing concern, and have wondered how close it was to where you are.

It must be surreal to be living with that hanging over your head ... and a very real pall of smoke hanging over your home ...

I'm thinking of you ... keep us up on what's happening!

January 02, 2006 8:16 AM  

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