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Boundary Fire lights up our evening last night!

So where do you begin to explain the clash of emotion verses reason when you are looking down the barrel of a forest fire?

Here's emotion:

Last night while some of the 15 firefighters stationed here to protect the ranch were inside the lodge playing cards and billiards, I asked "did you see the fire tonight'? One of the enthusiastic young men answered "YES, isn't it really cool"? To which I answered

"No. it's not"! He apologized profusely because he didn't really mean it like that, but that's the way he saw it. Hmmm...

I contemplated that statement for hours last night and realized that he was partly correct (those of you that know me know that I would never give full credit...). There are a lot of things about the forest, in it's present state, this kind of fire, and what the fire is potentially doing that really is kind of COOL!

Lesson: take the emotion away from the equation. Fire is scary! Fire is intimidating. Being emotional about doesn't change the fact that it is a forest fire. It's really hard to be scared or intimidated by something you understand.

Here's reason:

We all rode out to the trail head this morning to fetch grain bags from our lone trailer at the Boundary Creek Trail Head parking lot. We were advised to get as much, as quickly, as we could. So off we rode. The trail goes directly parallel to the "heel" of the Boundary Fire. We were able to see some flames but the forest was mostly engorged with thick smoke when we rode the horses by. I was surprised, not as much as my horse was, that large trees which were randomly falling, sounded more like a gigantic metal barrel scraping along a rock then the usual "gunshot" sound when there's no fire.

It was a bit ominous. The quiet rapture of the forest was not at it's usual calm. We could hear the fire consuming the fuel in some places...somewhat like a vacuum cleaner on quiet mode. Very odd but not emotional!

When we got back to the barn, the firefighters unloaded all of the grain and helped with the unsaddling. I decided to spend more time with the supervisor of our division.

He had some video footage from the air last Saturday when they were actively fighting the fire by air and ground. He has been explaining all of the different types of fire, fuel, winds, alignment with wind, Haines index, relative get the picture. When I saw the aerial footage where the fire had already come through, it looked good. Almost like our pond after the major trimming event yesterday. All the dead trees that litter the forest in snags were gone. There were trees that were still viable and green. Lots of them. I was dumbfounded!

Granted a percentage of those will be dead next year, but it was not the "torching" type of fire that I have come accustomed to like the Honeymoon and the Prospect Fires which devastated everything. Not a tree, shrub or blade of grass was left there.

We met with the head of Operations on the Boundary Fire today and he mentioned that a lot of the reason the firefighters were getting hurt was because they had to continuously climb over all of the deadfall to get to and from the fire.

This all started to make sense... I cannot hike or ride off trail with all the clutter of trees on the ground. You could liken our forest to a canister of pixie sticks thrown out on the card table.

Speaking about our pond...

The Boundary Fire has slowly backed down to the toe of the south ridge about 2.24 miles east Sulphur Creek Ranch. The flames on the upper ridge are much closer but aren't burning down into our drainage yet. The forecast is predicting high Humidity levels and rain.

We have a very defendable place surrounded by meadows. Sulphur Creek and all the natural springs are also an asset.

Remember we have 15 trained fire fighters in wildland fire and structure protection living with us now.

Can't wait to hear the rain on the roof.

Lesson for the day: Emotion is louder then reason but it doesn't have to be!

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