Tuesday, October 11, 2005
On the way home from work last week I noticed a slight smudge in the sky. That could only mean one thing - fire. I was headed toward R.F. Houtz's to get my tractor tire repaired and knowing that the only structures in the westerly direction included the high school and some farms, I made the decision to investigate.
There's always a camera, or two or three packed in a backpack in the trunk. Unfortunately the "big gun" with telephoto lenses was back at the ranch, batteries being recharged.
From the time I spotted the slight grey smudge until I arrived on the scene was only about 3 miles and 5 minutes time. There was no way getting closer, the small country road was blocked off and starting to clog with small town volunteer fire departments (more about that later). Everyone be in awe of my drive to get the shot. I marched about 3/4 of an acre into a really rough field in really bad shoes.
The corn was high enough (in it's pathetic state) to obscure the large horse barn that literally became this fully involved in about 5 minutes. There are no speculations yet as to the cause of the blaze, but 31 horses were killed. Hay stacked in a barn can reach an inner temperature to ignite, but we will see what the investigating ATF has to say about it.
Fire is a dangerous and awesome, and wickedly beautiful power. I think that man cannot even dream of the power that mother nature is able to unleash. In the days of pioneers a prairie fire was an unspoken terror.