It has been a tense couple of days out here in Red Rock Valley. A truck pulling a trailer south to Reno didn't realize he had a flat tire and ended up sparking two major fires. It doesn't take much when it's as dry as it is here. A lone worker here is doing some clean-up. I love our fire fighters!
This is what we lost. These old mature junipers don't come back after fire. What does come back is the highly combustible cheat grass. I took this picture last year. It used to be a popular spot for travelers to picnic. There's one tree now.
Ian had to go to Doyle to the post office this morning and I made him take the camera. He caught this image which I think speaks to the desolation of the event. We seem to have a wildfire a year here, but to lose these mature junipers is gut wrenching.
This is how the fire looked just after I called it in. They were confused by the fact that a fire south of us had been sited and didn't realize there was actually a second fire to the north. The dispatcher asked me what size the fire was - the size of a car? I said it's burning up the side of a mountain! That puff of black in the middle is a juniper. Every time a juniper was expunged, it cried out in a plume of black smoke.
I took this picture about ten minutes later. It felt like forever before crews were on the scene - lots of nail biting. But when they did come, they came with guns loaded. I have listened to the drone of fire planes and helicopters all day and I'm calling it tax dollars well spent. Did I mention that I love our firefighters??
These trucks belong to a North Tahoe unit and are parked by Fred and Gretel's house. They are packed for evacuation, but these guys intend that to see that they don't need to. Our fire guys make me proud to be an American. I was spinning on the west deck in the shade this morning, when a caravan of 10 white vans proceeded north across our valley floor. They were the Whalen stage II crew, moving in the take charge. You have no idea how good that made me feel.
If you click for big, you can see above the telephone pole one of the borate bombers going in for another pass. After lunch, they began to fly in at frequent intervals. They assisted the helicopters dropping water from Long Valley Creek.
This is the "other" fire and it is now threat-
ening the south end of our valley. Sometimes I think everything will be burned to a crisp and there will be nothing left to ignite.
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