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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


Home of the Barking Moonbat


Friday, December 02, 2005


There have been wildfires here since last Sunday, due to record breaking drought and high winds. Today, I came home to find burnt paper in one of my garden beds. I'm assuming it blew over here from one of the fires just south of me --- 11 square miles of a wildlife refuge burnt to a crisp. Or perhaps it came from the mountain just southwest of me which burnt Sunday night and into Monday.

I certainly hope it isn't yet another sign of the arsonist(s) who set fire to the refuge.

It's been pretty nerve-wracking, although I don't know if I'm more concerned about the fires or the drought.

I think I'm more worried about the drought. If my place gets burned to a crisp, at least I have a minimum of three routes out of here, and things can be replaced. But I'm extremely worried about my ancient trees and gardens and birds and frogs and other critters.

On Tuesday, I began setting the hose out to drench the areas right around my home. I keep a timer going --- I allow the hose to run fullblast (which, until today, wasn't much, due to the fires and drought) for 20 minutes a spot, then move it. I'll keep doing that until I feel some certainty that I'm not completely surrounded by not simply dry ground and foilage, but fuel for fires.

The drought, as far as I know, has already surpassed the one which led to the Dust Bowl. The difference is that farmers are using different agricultural methods and much of the land has been turned over to grazing, which, done properly, is actually good for the land.

The good news is, fire and drought kill ticks and other vermin. It also promotes nice, new growth and helps clear out overgrown forest areas. So it's, in fact, desperately needed here and a part of a natural cycle.

The bad news is, fire is indiscriminate in what it destroys. So homes are destroyed, along with overgrown forest, hay bales, fields, animals.

It's not nearly so bad today as it's been the past few days. Sunday, I slept in my clothes because I was unable to locate the fires and was relatively certain I should evacuate. And that fire was close --- a mountain literally two-three miles just southwest of me went up in flames. It took two days to put it out. Some time on Monday, the refuge began burning.

On my drive to work Monday, visibility was horrible because of all of the smoke and many of my students (and fellow teachers) were in a panic because their homes were threatened. Roads were blocked by fire crews, power was off, people were leaving early to help parents and brothers and sisters and friends hold off the fires with hoses.

Wednesday, I got about twenty miles from home and the smoke was thick. I stopped at the grocery and asked where the fires were. They mentioned a hill on the river, not knowing that hill was only a mile or so from my home. I floored it back here in a panic and was relieved to find clear blue skies and no smoke because the winds had changed. But I was saddened to hear how much of the refuge was burned --- 11 square miles, with the flames reaching all the way to a certain small town I have a soft spot in my heart for.

I understand why this is happening and a little part of me is glad --- I know the fires will kill off much of our most malignant insect and vermin population.Still, it's scary and I really wish the rains would return.


At 8:36 PM, Blogger MJ said...

You are so level-headed. I admire you for that.


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