Date: 26 December 2005 17:42:38
Christmas with my family is never dull, but this year our activities not planned. My dad, my brother, and I were going to my grandparents' house, which is in the country. A bit less than a mile down the road from there one of us, I do not remember who, saw that the woods were on fire. My dad stopped on the side of the road and called my grandmother on his cell. She called the fire department, the forestry service. My uncle showed up five minutes later with my cousins and enough shovels and rakes to go around. We split in groups and set to work. When we got there the burn area was about 50 yards wide and 60 long (about 46 X 55 meters). On one side it was only about 30 yards (27 meters) from a house. I was working on that side using my shovel to rake away leaves and pine needles, and tamp out some of the smaller flames, when a big gust of wind fanned the flames and it leapt up to almost waist high, but at about the same time the fire department showed up and hosed down the area. We still had plenty of work to do though because the truck could not reach the areas farther back in the woods. We got that side under control, but the other went down into a thicket where we could not go. We pulled out when we had done all we could and shortly after the forest service showed up with a bulldozer and made a seven foot (2 meters) fire lane around it. We went back to my grandparents' house and commenced with the usual holiday stuff, and at dinner my dad and uncle told stories about when they were in the volunteer fire department during high school.