Wildfires And A Disaster Trick Learned

FireWildfires And A Disaster Trick Learned

Last night my old hometown was hit with a level 3 evacuation because of wildfires. Level 3 means, “Leave now!” This is the same fire complex where three firefighters lost their lives and a fourth in the hospital in pretty bad shape just days ago.

The main highway into the town was closed for some twenty miles to any traffic.  The fire is so bad that a high school classmate was out on his tractor last night cutting a fire line as the fire was only 1.5 miles away from his home.  They have made contingency plans to retreat to the middle of their irrigated and green alfalfa hay field if need be, to wait it out if the fire gets to the house.  Yes, it is that serious.  

This stuff moves fast. I remember one wildfire I watched as a young man explode trees, yeah the tree pitch heats so fast the tree literally exploded throwing shards of timber every place. But this is the worst it has ever been.  

However In talking to my father by phone last night, I learned an interesting thing about modern communications that I had not considered. Bundled communication is not a good thing.  My parents are getting their phone used by other local folks that have lost their phones, television, and email because the communications are all bundled together.  When the cell towers were consumed by the fire, or the cables damaged they lost those forms of communication. 

So take note, bundled is an interesting thing, it may save some dollars, or not I don’t know, but nature will tell you that being diversified is a great plan for survival.  Living in Seattle, earthquake country, I feel pretty good that, by happenstance our household communications systems are spread across different vendors.

As I write this, another town is been told to evacuate. And the state has O.K.ed private citizens to join the fight with their own equipment. If you just pictured local farmers driving their tractors to the fire to go cut fire lines you pretty much got that right.

So a lesson about bundled communication for you and me, a horrific experience for the people of the Okanogan.   

And whatever your belief, if you hit your knees today, or tonight, take a moment and remember the people of the Okanogan. They will take everything and anything they can get and a prayer or two would be welcome.