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13 February 2007

Where there's fire, there's smoke

This afternoon, as I was leaving the house to run a few errands in town, I saw smoke coming from the back of our property. First, it was grey, then suddenly turned white, then back to grey. I watched for a few minutes, then jumped in the truck and headed up the road. About .2 miles from the house, I saw this...

A tad further, there was a forest service truck parked on the edge of the road. Two men were tending the fire.

I turned around and went back for my camera, but by the time I got back the 2 men were gone. They had moved up to the side road that goes down to the fire break. Up at the corner, they had set up a portable weather monitor.

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to stop for lots of pics. And my errands took much longer than I had expected, so most of the action was over by the time I came back through.

But I did take a minute to snap a few pics of the pyrocumulus clouds that were forming up in town, about 6-8 miles from the fire. I wish my camera could have done justice to the gorgeous sky I enjoyed on the way home. But the sun was always directly above or next to the best views.

A prescribed burn is controlled application of fire to vegetative fuels, under specified environmental conditions and following appropriate precautionary measures, to achieve specific objectives, including:

  • Hazard reduction
  • Control of undesirable species
  • Wildlife habitat improvement
  • Improved access and visibility
  • Disease control
  • Enhancement of appearance and aesthetics
  • Manipulation of depth, chemistry and decomposition of the site

Later this evening, DS and I decided to order a pizza. It was a good excuse to drive by again and get a good look after dark. I do wish my camera did better in low light. Several trees were still burning. They looked like giant torches surrounded by swarms of brilliant orange fireflies. I hope I get another opportunity to take pictures of that. It was really beautiful!


Floridacracker said...

Pretty amazing clouds. It's always a start to smell wood smoke when you live in the middle of the woods isn't it?
Glad it was a controlled burn.

Hurricane Teen said...

They recently had a prescribed burn near my school. My school is out in the middle of the woods, too, and it is quite a start to smell smoke when you don't know what's going on.

SophieMae said...

FC, I'm not quite as startled by the smoke as when we first moved here. I have to admit, though, this is the closest I've seen it to our house, so I did linger longer than usual watching it.

HurTenn, I wish they'd post their schedule so we'd know for sure it's them and not some firebug. It's a really nice smell as long as you're not in the thick of it. 8-]

Anonymous said...

Our neighborhood is in desperate need of a controlled burn, but it'll never happen. As a result, there are thick layers of tinder-dry dead wood and sticks at the rear of just about EVERYONE'S lots. This has also resulted in a less-than natural plant succession.

Now there are so many homes in the area it'll never get the fire it needs, until we have a California-style problem, that is. I hope not - but it wouldn't surprise me at all.

SophieMae said...

TF, grab a drip torch and... well, maybe not. Smokey wouldn't like that. Wonder how the county would respond to a request. Gosh I love living in the woods!