Thursday afternoon the air became acrid with wood smoke, and everyone grew nervous: where is the fire? This is a question that we usually do not have to ask in February. When I returned home, we could see a grey cloud hugging the mountain across the valley in the Soda Canyon area, and about it, a large ring of fire.
|Fire burned through our own property three years ago.|
Evidently someone burned vineyard prunings that windy afternoon (a controlled burn, the news said, although authorities claimed there was no permission given for a controlled burn). The paper declared at 10:10 am this morning that it was 100% contained.
Any of us living in the mountains are particularly alert to heat, wind, and, of course, smoke. Fire is dangerous. It is easy to indulge in outrage! —and then I remembered three years ago when a rag spontaneously combusted on the deck of our son’s yurt, burning the yurt to the ground and quickly spreading into the meadow, through the lavender, and right up to the house. A neighbor called the fire department (my husband and I were out of town) and two helicopters of firefighters arrived, who dug firebreaks and got it stopped.
We live in fire country. What we do effects our neighbors; what they do effects us. The fire across the valley that glowed into the night Thursday brought an eerie message: this year is dry; fire season will start early. Not only do we have to be extra careful, but we need each other to watch and act quickly. The precautions we take effect all of us. Fire reminds us that we are all connected.
|An odd message found in the ashes of the yurt.|