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Monday, January 20, 2014

Fire Weather Watch

Do you know what a Fire Weather Watch is?
According to Oklahoma Forestry Service a Fire Weather Watch/Red Flag Warning is defined as:
"Fire Weather Watch" and "Red Flag Warning" are terms used by weather forecasters to call attention to weather conditions that may result in extreme fire behavior. Both are intended to make individuals aware of the conditions and it is the personal responsibility of the individual to take extra precautions.  During these periods extreme caution is urged by all because a simple spark can cause a major wildfire.
  •  Fire Weather Watch is issued when weather conditions could exist in the next 12 to 72 hours.
  •  Red Flag Warning is issued for weather events that will occur within 24 hours.
A Fire Weather Watch may be issued prior to the Red Flag Warning. The criteria for red flag events requires the combination of high to extreme fire danger and a critical fire weather pattern such as: low relative humidity, very dry and unstable air, and very strong/ shifting winds."
 The past few weeks, our area has been under a Fire Weather Watch.
Flower Boy and I both have a weather app on our phones that notify us of such.
Two weeks ago, Flower Boy received a call.
"Hey Buddy!
Yes, I'm around.
I'm on my way!"
The call was to inform us one of our pastures were on FIRE!
Flower Boy jumped in his truck.
Drewman jumped in his truck.
They headed out.
The pasture, on fire, was one mile from the house.
The rural fire department responded within minutes, providing two brush trucks, a tanker/water truck and a command vehicle.
Many folks complain about the small rural fire departments.
We are blessed to have a great department in our area.
Most of the firemen are our neighbors and friends.
They are all volunteer, but have a passion for the service they provide to us.
The fire started from a person burning their trash.
Years ago, rural folks had no way to dispose of their garbage so they either put it in a pit or barrel and burned it.
Now days, there are rural garbage collection services available.
Our county commissioners have acquired a grant for a dumpster to be placed at the fairgrounds for rural residents of our county to dispose of garbage.
There was no reason, for the folks who started this fire, to have been burning their trash.
We have pastures on both sides of the residence where the fire started.
Flower Boy gathered cattle in one pasture, while Drewman gathered in the other.
They kept the cattle out of harms way.
Thankfully, one pasture was not effected by the fire.
The other pasture....
We lost about one quarter of the grass, on that pasture.
The place between our two pastures...
The entire 40 acres was burned.
The only thing slowing this fire down was a recent pipeline had gone through the south end of these pastures, clearing a fifty foot swath of right of way.
Without the pipeline right of way, the fire may have burned miles of pasture land.
The firemen had to cut the fence between the pastures, in order to put out the fire.
This left us with the repair.
If the folks who started the fire would have had insurance, we would have been reimbursed for our time and materials to repair the fence, our pasture loss and the fire department would have been paid.
They didn't!
Therefore, we are all at a loss.
Including the cattle.
 They don't have much roughage, now.
This is the pasture my sissy and her hubby have their weanlings.
They now have to supplement the cattle with more hay and feed.
As a ranching family, we ask that you heed the Fire Weather Watch and Red Flag Fire Warnings you see on the daily news.
It may not be important to you, but it is very important and costly to a rancher.
Rancher Girl

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