The 1st day after, was kind of eventful. I had just as much paperwork to do (execept it was my own paperwork). My phone was just as busy (but I wasn’t talking equipment) and I dang sure wasn’t bored. I got a lot done, but not enough. Then about 4 pm, I smelled rain, I heard lots of thunder and I heard two lightining crashes. I finished welding and came out of the big barn and smelled smoke. I looked to the East and in a severe drought like this, when you see smoke, you immediately think like Ralphie on Christmas Vacation, “OOOOHHHH FUUUUUDDGE!” Except fudge wasn’t the word that I thought. There was a fire 1/2 mile East of us and the wind was blowing from the east. This meant that there was a blacktop road between us and having nothing. It didn’t look good.
I called Wyatt Kelln of the Shattuck Fire Department. He said, “Fargo’s on it. But Arnett, Gage & Harmon are already in route. Shattuck will be there to put it out. Don’t you worry.”
In the meantime, my favorite neighbor, Johnny File, pulled up and said, “Do I need to help you move goats or just sit back and watch this crap burn?” I looked at him, then looked again as I realized that he wasn’t wearing a cap….or a shirt….and now, I was a little nervous if he had anything else on. If you know Johnny, then, trust me, there is humour. I realized, at this point, that Johnny had been sitting outside, half dressed, in his wheel chair, when this fire started. He didn’t give a rat’s ass, but if he needed to do something, “By GOD”, he was ready. I said, “Johnny, if that fire crosses the blacktop, we’re Effed.” He said, “Don’t worry about it. Because as soon as Shattuck gets here, it will be out. Did I ever tell you about the time that me and my brother’s stole a fire truck?” No, but you have my attention.
He was right. There was a great turn out of volunteer fire departments…all of the above, as well as Woodward showed up and limited this deal to a couple hundred acres. But it was evident when the boys from out west showed up. Wyatt and Tyler drove in a little faster than most would in a 6 wheel truck holdling 2000 gallons of water. We heard the jake brakes going off, well before we saw the truck. Nonetheless, the volunteers had the fire out, with a little help from a change in wind direction. No loss of structures or animals. It did burn right up to the blacktop. Of course, Tammy thought, “What the hell? One day on his own and he finds a way to start a fire.” I didn’t do it. Lightning did.
What Tyler? Yes, that Tyler. Tyke’s unpaid hired hand that helps with goats, twins, emptying ice chests and has a mustard story. At least Wyatt and Tyler stopped back at the house for a well earned beverage before heading west to fill up. Rural volunteer fire departments are a GOD send when needed and at times, an overlooked neccesity. Thank you to everybody that serves on a volunteer fire department. And for that matter, thank you to all fire fighters. Ask my brother Jake, but I have always had a rule about donating to firefighters. It’s a good thing.