The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,893

    Default Wildfire burning a few miles from me!!

    Scary night! There is a wild life refuge roughly 2 miles from us, down at the base of our hill, across the highway. Tonight, someone tossed out a cigarette at the parking area for the walking trails...a huge wildfire is now burning toward our city's industrial park. They cannot use the water drop helicopters, due to the wind!

    We have had less than a quarter inch of rain since the beginning of July--it is bone dry here. We've had several days of strong Gorge winds, and the humidity tonight is 17%. So frightening watching firemen running thru the fire, headlamps shining, to get ahead of it--with just the two lane highway between the fire and the mobile home park the edges our town.

    One wind shift...and that fire is burning back toward us! What do you do to prepare for that??! I've read threads about fires in California, Texas...never considered a wild fire here in the wet side of WA!

    Mr. CC and I talked about it, while we sat on the highway and watched a place we've hiked dozens of times burn, hoping all the animals and birds got away--my horse trailer is not at home, and I've got two horses here. Christmas tree farm directly to our east (those go up like Roman candles!), with a border of firs between us. Lots of dry, dry grass to our west (100 + acres). There are no hydrants, no creeks or ponds for water. How do you plan?

    I am confident that the wind will continue out of the east, and the firefighters are getting the upper hand now. But... the possibility is there in the future
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2008
    Location
    Alberta, Canada and South Australia
    Posts
    2,956

    Default

    Yikes! Stay safe and jingles for a safe night and some rain!

    Living in South Australia , fires are a huge concern for us. Thankfully we haven't had one on the farm * knocking on wood*

    P.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    784

    Default

    I'm so sorry you are going through this.

    I just went through the Colorado Springs fire scare this summer, and I know what you are going through. I live in a ponderosa pine forest too.

    Do you know anyone that has a horse trailer? Can you call someone who will offer emergency quarters for the horses? Are you ready to go (if need be)?

    I wish I could help. Keep the faith and I'll keep praying the wind blows east.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,893

    Default

    It is so, so scary to see it burn. Grass fires are so volatile. I am going to run down the road in a bit and see how the firefighters are doing. Unbelievable it is all based on a freaking tossed cigarette.

    The refuge had so much wildlife--bobcats, deer, coyotes, beaver, and a plethora of geese and birds/waterfowl. We saw a barn owl in the smoke, flying erratically.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    784

    Default

    Please keep us updated!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,605

    Default

    Please try to find a friend that can trailer your horses, and someplace you can take them if needed. Don't wait until you have to evacuate to make plans.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    SF Bay Area, California
    Posts
    4,429

    Default

    Sending safety jingles to all of you, including the wildlife. Hopefully the fire can be contained before you have to go into evacuation mode.
    Proud owner of a Slaughter-Bound TB from a feedlot, and her surprise baby...!
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/Jen4USC/fave.jpg
    http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e3...SC/running.jpg



  8. #8

    Default

    Can you bring your trailer back home, at least until the fire is contained?

    If not, line up several people with trailers that you can call at a moment's notice. You don't want to have one person on call and have them be too far away or in a situation they can't break from.

    Line up a few places you can take the horses. Often, showgrounds/fairgrounds will open stalls to evacuees, so if you are not sure where else to go, get phone numbers and addresses for those lined up now.

    Pack early. Have essential paperwork, etc in boxes that you can load into the car. Have kennels, etc, ready for any small animals.

    If in doubt, evacuate the horses now. Especially if you have a horse that does not load 100% -- in a critical situation, the authorities WILL make you abandon a horse that won't load.

    Figure out how to mark your horses in case you have no other option than to set them free and hope for the best. Livestock paint, information tag braided in the mane, phone number painted on the hoof are all options.

    Keep your car/truck gassed up.

    Good luck. Plan early, act early. Hopefully it will not switch to your direction.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,466

    Default

    My particular piece of land has a lot of open space. The shed is metal. Worst comes to worst, I believe horses could shelter in place and survive, although they would be at risk from smoke.

    This is our local Fire Safe Council website. It is full of extremely useful resources: http://www.firesafemendocino.org

    In our area, many people cannot expect to evacuate livestock - they have too many animals and/or are too remote.

    Some things to keep in mind:

    - Have very clear, large house numbers that can be seen in dark, smoky conditions. The people fighting your fire most likely will not be local. (We had a fire near by that had 1,600 firefighters on it at one point, far more than are stationed in our entire county.) Make it easy for those people to find your property.

    - If you have a well, most likely the fire department will not have much water to work with. If you have a tank or a pond, they recommend building a fire hose connector into your system somewhere and clearly mark it such that firefighters who don't know your house might find it.

    - Trim your landscaping properly. They have diagrams.

    - Have a fire truck-friendly driveway, with a turnaround.

    - There are suggestions for construction for houses that are more fire resistant.

    Etc!

    From my own experience, grass fires are not so dangerous as fires that get into trees or fires that start on flammable roofs or structure fires. Structures that are close together can light each other on fire simply by radiant heat. A nearby structure, fully involved, can even light the interior of the next house on fire through the windows and burn it from the inside out!

    Anyway, lots of good stuff at that site.

    Fingers crossed that they get it out quickly and that your property stays safe.

    Please be aware that fire burns faster up hill... so if the fire is below you and you are upslope, you may not have as much time as you would think from the distance. This is especially true if there is a strong venturi effect on the winds in your local microclimate as the air pushes its way across the topography.

    Cal Fire has a fabulous website for updates at http://http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/in...idents_current and they also use twitter. Your state fire agency may have something similar. It is very helpful to us, because we do not have major media covering our area at all.

    You also may want to check if your area has a Reverse 911 system, where they call you in case of emergency. If so, they'll call landlines, and you can usually register your cell phone in addition.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,894

    Default

    Prairie fires are very common around here and they are extremely scary.
    There is only so much you can do.
    Here, everyone builds already with those fires in mind, little vegetation too close to the house/barns.

    Could you go get your trailer, just in case you have to move?



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2007
    Posts
    749

    Default

    Prayers for everyone, including animals. I am a smoker, but anyone who would toss out a cigarette like that should be staked in the middle of the fire! (Ok, got my flame suit on.)



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,497

    Default

    Went through this just last month and last summer too (that one I was watching the flames come over the hill a half mile away). Know where the fire is and which direction the wind is blowing (sounds like you are doing this). Check on it before going to bed and first thing when you get up. Stay close to home. Realize that "containment" just means they have a fire line around the fire. It's still burning and can flare up and jump the line if conditions are right.

    Keep halters on your horses and lead ropes tied to the gate in case you need to make a quick exit. Have a suitcase packed and by the door (better safe than sorry). Keep tabs on dogs and cats and have crates and leashes ready by the door. Realize that fire can move very quickly. You can walk your horses out if you need to. Fire season is far from over so I'm still holding my breath over here on the east side. Hopefully the wind will continue to blow away from your place. Please keep checking in with us if you are able.
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
    RIP Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2009
    Posts
    1,805

    Default

    Prayers for you! Been through it, not fun. Keep us posted!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2011
    Location
    Central Va.
    Posts
    691

    Default

    Yikes, it's so very scary. Thinking of you. Knowing that you're working on an escape plan.
    C'mon Easterly winds.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2011
    Location
    over the rainbow
    Posts
    772

    Default

    Being in SoCal, i know exactly what you mean. One of the major fires a few years back (i forget whether it was the witch creek fires or the ceder fires) formed a horseshoe shape around my neighborhood... the firefighters barely got it contained before it could burn into a complete circle, trapping everyone who didnt evacuate

    Moral of the story: if its a major fire within ten miles from you, evacuate NOW!!! even if the fire skips your property but burns down all of your neighbors houses (which has been known to happen) you are still in serious danger from the smoke. Get outta that property!



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2008
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    4,010

    Default

    I am so so sorry to hear about this.
    We rarely have to worry about fires on this side of the state.
    In the last couple of weeks we have had a few scary grass fires along I-5 which is almost unheard of.
    It was all over the news yesterday that most counties in Western Washington are under a high fire alert. For someone to have not heard about all this and throw a cigarette out the window must have been living under a rock. Or they are certifiably ...........:X well nevermind.
    Be as prepared as you can possibly be!! We're all thinking of you.


    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    Scary night! There is a wild life refuge roughly 2 miles from us, down at the base of our hill, across the highway. Tonight, someone tossed out a cigarette at the parking area for the walking trails...a huge wildfire is now burning toward our city's industrial park. They cannot use the water drop helicopters, due to the wind!

    We have had less than a quarter inch of rain since the beginning of July--it is bone dry here. We've had several days of strong Gorge winds, and the humidity tonight is 17%. So frightening watching firemen running thru the fire, headlamps shining, to get ahead of it--with just the two lane highway between the fire and the mobile home park the edges our town.

    One wind shift...and that fire is burning back toward us! What do you do to prepare for that??! I've read threads about fires in California, Texas...never considered a wild fire here in the wet side of WA!

    Mr. CC and I talked about it, while we sat on the highway and watched a place we've hiked dozens of times burn, hoping all the animals and birds got away--my horse trailer is not at home, and I've got two horses here. Christmas tree farm directly to our east (those go up like Roman candles!), with a border of firs between us. Lots of dry, dry grass to our west (100 + acres). There are no hydrants, no creeks or ponds for water. How do you plan?

    I am confident that the wind will continue out of the east, and the firefighters are getting the upper hand now. But... the possibility is there in the future



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 23, 2004
    Location
    Sisters, Oregon
    Posts
    1,903

    Default

    I must say that if there was a wildfire burning two miles from me I would get my horses out NOW. Yes, the wind usually blows the other way, but....

    I live in wild fire country. There is one burning about 25 miles from us now. There was a pre-evacuation for one of the subdivisions in the path. The powers that be STRONGLY encouraged the residents with horses to get them out so there wouldn't be pandemonium if the evacuation call came.

    I have evacuated my horses twice in the past just to be safe. The nearest fire was five miles away. I DID NOT want to be trying to get ten horses off the place in the middle of the night with fire nipping at our heels!

    I understand that living in the middle of the forest is a risk and that fire is actually healthy for the forest.... I still hate it.
    Kanoe Godby
    www.dyrkgodby.com
    See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,466

    Default

    Evacuation choices are somewhat specific to the location of the fire relative to you, your escape routes, the population density, prevailing winds, the weather, the size, and the flammability of your landscape. You can't judge by distance alone.

    When you live in a canyon with only one route in and out, your situation is quite different than a more open landscape.

    Do read the fire safe council recommendations I posted. They're not much help when the fire is burning and you can see the flames, but there are lots of things you can, um, chip away at (sorry for the wood chipper pun) a little bit at a time. In some places, fires are fierce and frequent enough to warrant fireproof construction, which is above and beyond the basic high fire risk codes. Even things as simple and generally useful as double paned windows can increase the fire resistance of your home.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
    Posts
    6,893

    Default

    The fire is nearly out, thank goodness. Let me clarify: the fire was in a Refuge, across a highway from me, burning away from our farm due to the high winds. With those conditions, we weren't in much danger from that particular fire.

    It got me really thinking about fire danger and what I need to do to prepare. (it is scary dry here---heavy vegetation due to a wet spring, as usual, combined with 12 weeks of NO rain and now high, steady winds).

    I thank you all for the great ideas and suggestions. I'm going to pick up my trailer --it is about 3 miles away at my SIL's house. We put out an extra hose, and I'm seriously thinking about putting out sprinklers to give is a 'wet barrier'.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2008
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    4,010

    Default

    Not a bad idea. Glad to hear you're ok.


    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    The fire is nearly out, thank goodness. Let me clarify: the fire was in a Refuge, across a highway from me, burning away from our farm due to the high winds. With those conditions, we weren't in much danger from that particular fire.

    It got me really thinking about fire danger and what I need to do to prepare. (it is scary dry here---heavy vegetation due to a wet spring, as usual, combined with 12 weeks of NO rain and now high, steady winds).

    I thank you all for the great ideas and suggestions. I'm going to pick up my trailer --it is about 3 miles away at my SIL's house. We put out an extra hose, and I'm seriously thinking about putting out sprinklers to give is a 'wet barrier'.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 14
    Last Post: Nov. 16, 2011, 06:33 PM
  2. Horse Wildfire Preparedness
    By theroyale1 in forum Off Course
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Sep. 15, 2011, 02:53 PM
  3. Staring Down A Wildfire
    By Frank B in forum Off Course
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sep. 13, 2011, 06:00 PM
  4. Boarders-wildfire evacuation plan?
    By MelantheLLC in forum Off Course
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: Mar. 16, 2011, 10:01 PM
  5. Wildfire in Los Angeles
    By Mardi in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Aug. 31, 2009, 05:15 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness