|Scary Mother's Day
||[May. 11th, 2009|01:22 pm]
Sean and I were at my mom's in Indiantown, FL. We'd seen a smoke plume earlier in the day and had gone to investigate. We found a brush fire south of town, being tended to by firefighters, and it appeared to be more or less under control.
Later in the afternoon the smoke seemed thicker and more to the west. Still far away, though.
That evening we were playing Scrabble when we noticed the sound of a helicopter hovering in the area. Uh oh. I went outside to investigate. The sky east of Mom's manufactured-home community was glowing bright red and the smoke was fairly thick.
Yeah, I was frightened. Okay, I was acting like a panicky little kid, driving around trying to see where the fire was and what they were doing about it, but I'm terrified of brush fires. Look at California! I'm much more scared of fires than of hurricanes. At least with hurricanes you have advanced warning of potential trajectory and time frames. You have the opportunity to prepare and/or leave the area. Fires can come out of nowhere.
Well, this fire was on our side of the highway, a circumstance I'd been dreading all afternoon. Some of the homes on the east border of the development were being evacuated, just in case. So we had a dilemma. Should we begin piling things into cars and preparing to leave? Should we sit tight and wait? I was a wreck. Online pictures and news reports were unsettling, at least to me. However, cooler heads prevailed and eventually persuaded me to simmer down and be sensible. We even finished our Scrabble game.
Sure enough, by 11:30 local authorities reported that the fire was over 50% contained and posed no further threat to "adjacent structures."
As it turns out, there were actually four separate fires, at least one of which was deliberately set by some kids who are in custody. Burned over 500 acres in this tinderbox. I hesitate to wish for rain, because around here it often comes accompanied with... um... very high winds? But we sure could use some. (And yeah, Tom, I DID fix the sprinklers!)
Update - Monday, 5:30 p.m.:
Apparently, one of the fires, yeah, the one I was worried about, has re-ignited and is threatening some homes north of Indiantown. The smoke is horrendous. Residents in my mom's community are wondering what to do. I hate this.