It is hot, hot, hot in Wyoming! And along with hot, hot, hot we get dry, dry, dry.
This afternoon we were happy to have a small thunderstorm roll in. Our happiness turned to nervousness when the straight-down lightning started. With one strike we saw the flash and almost immediately heard the boom of thunder. That is waaaay too close.
Soon the rains stopped. Joe was home for his afternoon break (he’s working as a ranch hand and has an odd schedule) and went outside to do chores. He came back in and said we got to go put out a fire. The property one over from us, likely where the way to close strike hit, was smoking.
While we drove out over another neighbor followed. The burn was very small, only about a 10 foot circle, and the three of us got it out without trouble. Another family showed up toward the end and we added the extra water they brought along. We were so thankful that there was very little wind when it started.
A few minutes into putting out our small fire we notice smoke coming from behind the hill. There was a large fire burning elsewhere. We called 911 for that one. It took the local fire department a good while to get that out since the winds came up.
This little burn prompted a conversation among the neighbors in our small neighborhood.
We’re quite rural. We do have a fire department but it takes them a bit to get to where the fire is since we’re so spread out and the fire house is several miles away. Add to that the limited roads to actually get to where a fire might be. Wildland fires tend to not burn near roads.
We have a fire break around our place but I think we’ll beef it up a bit. And talking with a friend who lives very rural she gave some tips that we, as a neighborhood, may wish to do like getting a trailer with a tank and a small motor to pump out water, setting up a phone tree and a few other things.
Today we were not prepared. If it would have been larger than the small fire we had, we could have had trouble. And I can’t even imagine if the wind would have came up.