Friday, October 10, 2008

Wildfire!!

This afternoon a wildfire kicked up behind our neighborhood. I heard sirens, took a peep outside and saw quite a bit of smoke billowing up from the street directly behind my house. Just as I walked out the front door to investigate, a fire truck flew by and tore around the corner. They set up a few houses down from mine at the corner of our neighborhood. The fire was igniting the brush along the fenceline of the houses. They had to douse the brush and houses with water to keep them from going up in flames.

Here is a photo from my back yard. You can see they set up right around the corner from me:



Here they are wetting down the houses and attempting to put out the brush fire:





Concerned neighbors:



Check out the rainbows:









The wildfire got really big, really fast. It tore down the fenceline consuming brush and tinder dry grass and quickly spread across the field and back towards the elementary school. Luckily the kids were out for the afternoon.





Here the fire officials are discussing their next move:



Fireman moving towards the fire:



The fire got bigger and the smoke thicker:





The brush in this photo is directly behind a house in my neighborhood. You could hear the fire crackling and eating away at the super-dry cedar trees, grass, and shrubbery (fairly nerve racking I might add):



Looking beyond the brush, you can see the fire spreading out into the field that contained some horses. They were awfully panicked and were running in frantic circles and back and forth. Look closely at the photo and you can view the horses through the smoke:



The fire progressed at an alarming rate when the wind kicked up. Note the progression of the smoke to flame in what was about a 60 second interval:











Then in a split second, the fire quickly jumped to a cedar tree and up it went in a whoosh of flames:







At this point, I decided I better back off, because there was no way I could outrun that! Better to let the professionals come in and save the day:









The fire then headed off northwards. The aftermath:









Luckily, all the homes were saved and nobody was hurt. Turns out the fire started directly behind the HEB a few miles up the road. A flicked cigarette I am guessing. Didn't I JUST write a post on how one should not litter, ESPECIALLY cigarettes when it is tinder-dry and we are in an extreme drought? Unbelievable. All it takes is a little spark and before you know it an entire neighborhood, forest, or field or all of the above have gone up in flames.

14 comments:

Jan said...

How scary for you and your neighbors. I am so glad everything turned out okay. You took some great pictures of the situation. It is a shame there are unthinking people in this world who put others in danger. They should know better.

Jan
Always Growing

vertie said...

Very scary. Glad that it got somewhat contained before it reached the houses. Or at least that's what it looks like. Hope the horses were okay.

Mother Nature's Garden said...

I'm glad that after that scary situation all is well.
Donna

Barbee' said...

That was too close for comfort!

Pam/Digging said...

Sheesh! That must have been nerve-wracking. I'm glad that they were able to put it out in time.

Annie in Austin said...

Wow - these are some photos, Bonnie! Did kicking into blogger-reporter mode help you from freaking out?

It's sprinkling right now - hope all the area gets some real rain this week!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Annie in Austin said...

Oops - was blog hopping and just realized I called you Bonnie instead of Lee. Sorry!

Annie

Lee17 said...

Jan,

It was scary! Luckily they put the fire out in time!

Lee17 said...

Vertie,

Yep, they got it contained, thank goodness. And the horses are fine also.

Lee17 said...

mother nature's garden,

Thanks. I am really glad everything turned out ok too. It could have been so much worse. Big thanks to the Leander and Cedar Park Fire depts!

Lee17 said...

barbee,

Definately too close for comfort! But all turned out ok in the end. Whew!

Lee17 said...

Pam,

Yep, it was definately nail-biting time! But everything turned out ok.

Lee17 said...

annie,

Yeah, playing reporter kept me busy and also kept me in the know so I wasn't sitting around panicking!

And no worries about the name confusion ;)

Lori said...

Geez. That's insane. Not too long ago one of my friends in south LA posted a picture of the hills to the north, and then later that week at midnight, a picture of all of those hills on fire. 'm kind of surprised, now that I think about it, that we haven't seen more of this around Austin considering how incredibly dry it's been. Knock on wood.

I'm glad you guys are all OK!