My Dad and I went out to survey the fire damage the next morning. We had three fires on our land, destroying about 250-300 acres of rangeland. This is the first time since the family moved to the property (late 1930s? Very early 1940s?) that there has been a lightning-caused fire. There was a fire just a few years ago that did get pretty close to the houses, caused by a neighbor burning trash.
In the tradition of the Forest Service, I named the fires. So we have the Wade’s Dam Fire (located near Wade’s Dam, of course), the High Hill Fire (located on the highest hill on our place), and the Far North Fire (the one that was the furthest north, burning mostly our land but also crossing over into Forest Service land.) The High Hill fire also burned some Forest Service land.
I think this is a little better picture of the Wade’s Dam Fire. That windbreak in the foreground is built around the new spring tank my Dad and brother put in the week before, where the nieces were showing me how cold that water is.
This is the same fire from the north.
After the fire, then you have to fix fence. This was two weeks ago today, and my Dad is still working on fixing fence.
I helped! I did! I got things out of the pickup for him.
This is the Far North fire in the distance, the one where Dad was fixing fence posts. In the foreground is the High Hill fire.
We are on top of the High Hill on the ranch, looking down at the Far North fire. In the distance you can see the Wade’s Dam Fire.
We have a U.S.G.S. benchmark on the top of that hill. I don’t know if I knew that at one time, but I didn’t remember it.
This shows where the High Hill Fire jumped Farmingdale Road.
Another fire started on the School Section and surrounded the school and fire hall
And this is yet another fire near a neighbor’s. Bear in mind, all of these fires were burning at once. Fortunately the volunteer fire department is well-equipped.
After all this fire surveying, we were a little late getting into Rapid City for my class reunion picnic, but we finally made it, and saw yet another friend that I hadn’t seen for 25 years. We didn’t stay to go to the bar that evening, wanting to get home both because of the late night the day before and the possibility of more fires in the evening. Fortunately, the lightning didn’t cause any more fires, although I heard my Dad get up and go up on the driveway hill to look around every hour on the hour through midnight.
We got up and went to church the next morning. Mom and Dad treated us to lunch at Lintz Brothers’ Pizza, which was excellent. We got home, got packed, and got on the road. Not a long trip but it seemed long because of everything that happened, including us hearing the news about the theater shooting in Aurora.