My mom called two nights ago from Oklahoma, packing a few boxes of her most precious valuables. Oklahoma was burning up in wildfires, and the news was talking about residents near her home being forced to evacuate with only 10 minutes of advance warning. She was calling me, worried about some old photo album she couldn’t find, making sure she knew where it was, just in case she had to leave it all behind. Sigh….moms. 🙂
Well, the wind turned the other direction and the fires went with them, and life began to get back to normal.
Fast forward to today. My boy and I were out in the back yard cleaning things up at the studio, when my son pointed to this plume of smoke in the sky just down the road. Last year, in almost the same spot, we saw smoke and called the police. It turned out to be just a local farmer with a controlled burn, so this time I didn’t think anything of it.
Then came the sirens, and more sirens, and more sirens. We heard the firetrucks rushing up the road towards the next town over, then we heard them racing down the Highway next to the studio. Just as I was starting to get that feeling in my stomach, a fire truck came screaming up and stopped right across the road from the studio.
My boy and I took off running for the front, thinking we might have to grab a hose, and came out to see policemen blocking off the highway at our corner. It was a grassfire, and they were stopping traffic as the fire approached the highway.
It was a blessing really. The fire was only about 3 or 4/10th’s of a mile from our studio, and only about 1/10th of a mile from our church. But the wind was just a slight breeze out of the north, and the fire didn’t have a chance. The firemen went right at the fire, and really did a great job. It was impressive to see them responding the way they did. They even brought out the old trucks with the bells on them, and we could hear them clanging and ringing along as they scooted across the field like we were in some kind of time warp and it was 1950! It had the perfect flavor, a small town feel, watching these engines come together from nearby towns.
They were going to stop that fire before it came near any homes or people, and that’s just all there was to it. They huddled up on that stretch of road, policemen and firemen alike, and it was a beautiful thing to witness their practiced, rehearsed workmanship.
Most days we have a strong wind out of the southwest coming up from the riverbed to our studio on the ridge, and if it would have been most days, that fire would have ran straight up the hill, but this wasn’t most days, thank God.
And a big thank you to the firemen and policemen, for all you do that we don’t even see. The news didn’t even hardly cover the story, but just so you all know, we appreciate you.
My little 5-year-old said it best, Instead of a disaster, I watched her run to the corner where the policeman was stopping traffic, saying, “Thank you! Thank you Police Man for protecting us!” He got down at eye level with her and said he normally would have had a nice sticker for her but that they left them in the fire truck down the road. 🙂