It started as a quiet Sunday morning as I took my ride through the small town of Superior.
|A quiet Sunday morning ride|
|A post at the corner of a town street|
THEN IT HAPPENED!!! WILDFIRE IN LOLO FOREST.
I got back from my ride, Susan returned from her solo fishing outing, and the rest of the group came in from the float trips and afternoon outings. Many were sitting out on the porch and lawn and Susan came into the cabin and, rather quietly, said the fire truck was here. Fire truck? yes -- go look down the street, there is a fire. It looked like perhaps a brush fire about a tenth of a mile from our cabin. But started growing.
|A fire in the neighborhood|
|The fire begins to grow|
|Flame retardant gets dropped by the crop duster|
|Spreading a bit at a time|
Our cabin is across the road from the fire and everyone begins to worry as the fire grows bigger and wider and hotter. The "command center" sets up right in front of our yard and suggests to us that we may have to evacuate, so be ready. I packed up all our gear and Susan put the bikes on the van ready to leave at a moment's notice. Everyone else followed suit.
|Cammand Center sets up in front of our cabin near Carl's boat|
Eventually crop duster planes came in to dump fire retardant, and helicopters started dipping for water in the river behind us and dropping the huge buckets of water in strategic places. As the water buckets passed over head we felt some of the water sprinkle on us. Felt refreshing in the 90 degree heat! The helicopter water bucket brigade went on for hours.
|Dipping water from the river|
|Dumping water onto the fire|
As the fire spread more and more, the few people across the road from us, and on the side of the road where the fire was, were evacuated and all traffic was stopped from entering the road.
We watched the fire for hours, wondering whether to go to bed or get ready to move out!
By night the helicopters had to stop, the crews would stay somewhere close through the night with their chain saws and equipment, and we would go to bed hopeful that we would not be awakened to evacuate, or rather that we would be if needed! These are but a few of the tons of photos we took, but I think they give the idea of enormity of the fire, and how quickly it can spread. These photos show from the start at about 5:00 to just before 9:00. Amazing.
We were safe through the night, and as we drove off from the driveway we talked with a forest worker who was keeping watch. He told us the fire was not yet contained and more equipment, helicopters and crews would be coming in today (Monday). And if you think we are done with forest fires -- we are not! Will update about that tomorrow. Sleep well and safe everyone.