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A mean and ugly reality...

A glimpse at what I was looking at from the window of our quarters just a few nights ago when our brave young men and women were fighting off the the fire.

My nose was glued to the window in hopes that this was just a dream, not a reality!

The crew set fire on the ground and back burned.

The goal:

When the fire arrived (which was inevitable), there would be an established area of "black". The objective:

Squelch the fire's voracious velocity so it wouldn't burn down the lodge.

We learned what it meant to embrace preventative measures that ran fundamentally contrary to what our natural instincts dictated... Start a fire to prevent a fire! Sounds like a good idea until you realize that fire management is an "oxymoron".

These fire fighters were out from midnight to 2:00 am fighting to protect what you all have come to know, appreciate, and love, without having that first hand knowledge in their pocket.

Who does that anymore?

If there's a silver lining, all of their efforts in the wee hours of the night proved to be the "night in shining armor" when the fire did arrive...and it did arrive with a force of destruction that I have never witnessed.

The next morning briefing was a wake up call that the fire had wrapped around us from the north and was galivanting to the west of the ranch making us extremely vulnerable by the prevailing westerly winds blowing east.

Same scenario as the Morgan Ranch just a week prior.

Our leaders decided to pre-emptively back burn to the west of the barn and the corral

early in the morning while the smoke inversion kept the conditions at a manageable level.

That morning our stock watched the back burning in efforts to protect the west flank of the corral.

I hiked out to the end of the runway to the east with the intention of burning off some unmitigated stress when I happened to turn around and look back at the lodge. A strange and unusual sound prompted me to do so...

It looked liked the tornado that swept up Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

In an instant, I recognized the sound of an oncoming freight train.

I knew instinctively that we were under siege.

I could barely make it back to the barn. My eyes were burning and tears were blinding me. I couldn't see anything ahead of me.

How on earth were the fire fighters able to man their defensives if I couldn't?

They were! All of them in position to fend off the attack.

The smoke from the siege kept us from knowing what was being burned and what was being salvaged...another long stressful night but these brave young men and women relentlessly fought off ember flames which were launched a quarter of a mile into our hay fields.

The out pouring of emails from all of our treasured Sulphur Creek Ranch extended family have been so cherished!

Thank you all for your for your support, prayers, and words of encouragement!

I cannot thank you enough!

The crew that saved the ranch!

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