This morning I was awake at dawn and the thought occurred to me that it was a perfect time to go up to the woods above my favorite pond – island pond – and roast some weenies with my dogs and watch the sunrise.
I chose this spot because it has several years of down wood making it one of my several fire hazards. I figured if I could start clearing a burn area here and have fires there twice a day I would make a dent in this hazzard I have been wanting to clear out for several years.
Well it was a beautiful morning and things went as planned. I left the small fire with a 18 inch radius cleared around it with no flames left and I put some water on the coals and double checked my barrier area before leaving to nap.
That morning when everyone was finally up at 11 a guy on a motor cycle came by and asked us to show him how to get to the fire. I looked up and lots of white smoke was pouring from the hill above island pond!!!
I rushed up in my truck to help volunteers and the land bureau fire fighters to find the area. It actually wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared – i didn’t loose a single tree and all the evil dead wood was now cleared.
It was quite an embarrasment for me though and I doubt my wife will recover from this for awhile.
The fire was under control after several hours and there really wasn’t anything I could do to help but bring them water. My chainsaw was in the shop, my ATV was in the shop, my water pump was broken and I simply had no tools available to fight such a fire.
Rumor has it my bill will be aroune $8000. I would like to find a good way to thank all the volunteers that helped as well. One neighboor had advised me to lie and not claim responsibility for the fire but I don’t see that as right at all, whatever the cost, it was my fault and I should fess up to it.
I am now infamously popular around here and everyone knows where they can come find free firewood now.