Monday, August 22, 2011

A Little Sunday Afternoon Excitement

We were watching the final round of the PBR San Antonio bull riding when the phone rang. It was my pal Jan. And a quick note here - Jan's hubby Steve, their daughter Mandy, Mandy's husband Orin, and Orin's parents Sharon and Frank are all volunteer firefighters with the Monroe Fire Department, a largely all volunteer department and one of the best in Oregon. Thus, Jan always has the scanner going and knows what's happening where. Dale answered the phone and Jan immediately said 'there's a fire at Dawson and Reese Creek'! Now, Reese Creek is the eastern boundary of our north pasture and Dawson is the north boundary of the north pasture. Across from us on the north side of Dawson, to the west of Reese Creek, is Jeff's place. To the east of Reese Creek is Cindy and Gary's place. Then there is our place, on the south side of Dawson to the north of Reese Creek, and Sharon and Frank lease almost everything else to the east and south of that intersection for grass seed and hay as well as grazing. Dale and I immediately thought 'Gary's place is on fire!' so we both bolted out the door. What we found instead was what was ultimately confirmed as a broken power line snapping and sparking well to the south of the intersection, well to the southeast of our south pasture, along the abandoned rail tracks that lead to the mill. It had ignited a grass fire in one of Sharon's fields just west of their ranchhand Pablo's place. Thank goodness for the cool, wet spring and summer - everything is finally getting pretty dry, but that field had just been harvested and was still pretty green. Still, it was pretty exciting, for Bellfountain. Jan showed up with Mandy and Orin's 3 year old son Van and we watched what ended up being 6 fire rigs show up and put out the fire, followed shortly by the Consumer Power line truck to put the line back together and back up. We had a lot of wind about the time this all started, and Dale thinks that a branch from one of the huge old oaks might have come down and snapped the line. I know when I was first watching it all, there was a series of explosions that appeared well above ground level that must have been the broken line sparking before the power was finally cut to that line. But, all's well and at least the fire trucks all got exercised. Just a quiet Sunday summer evening out here on the ranch.



The first fire team arrives




The brush rig heads in. Dale thinks that Sharon was the hoseman





Don't forget to click on the pix


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