Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fire Update

We are still at home. Yesterday was a bad day. The winds picked up to 15-30 mph and switched directions. The total burn area went from 12,000 acres to 22,000 acres overnight. They have used the term 'extremely aggressive' to describe it. They are now using many firefighting planes and helicopters, the largest a DC10 that drops 12,000 gallons of fire retardant in a single load. I learned something new about that. The retardant only slows down the flames, and makes them smaller so that ground crews can put the fire out. It's the firefighters on the ground who do the most important part and have the most dangerous part. The heat has been rising back up here, too, causing many firefighters to suffer heat exhaustion. They are saying it will be back up in the 100's by the beginning of the week.

We missed school all last week and they are trying to decide if we will have any this week either. The smoke gets horrific by the afternoon each day and the fire is constantly moving and growing, threatening new areas, including schools. One of our high schools is being used as the firefighting command center, and the other was the evacuee site until a couple of days ago. The local YMCA in Magnolia has been using volunteers to cook around the clock and provide everything the firefighters need. The evacuees are being taken care of by the Red Cross. Businesses and individuals have opened their doors to people, given out clothing, food, drinks and gift cards, and there are legions of people providing emergency housing to large animals and pets. We are a small town with a HUGE heart. Tomorrow I have volunteered to bake 200 servings of cookies and brownies and drop it off to the command post. I also have clothing and shoes to drop off at the evacuation center.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sweetie - My heart is aching for you, your family and your neighbors. You all are in my thoughts. I can't even image how stressful it must be for you and how frightening for your children. Bless those firefighters! Hugs. Sandra

Reba said...

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry to hear it is STILL going on. We have actually had much cooler temperatures; I forget that isn't the weather everywhere. I hope there is relief for ALL of you in the near future!

ManyBlessings said...

Been thinking about you. Wish we could DO something. We'll just keep praying for rain, rain, and more rain. :/

L Kern said...

How awful that Mother Nature is still blowing those flames around. It sounds like you live in a great community of people though. Stay safe!!