Bottle + Drought = Fire!

Earlier today, we were woke up (late morning) by repeated doorbell rings, way more than door-to-door salespeople or even kids ring the bell. When we looked out the peephole, no one was there, so because of how many times it was rang, we peeked outside and saw our backyard neighbor coming from the side yard. She yelled: "There's a fire in your backyard! I've already called the fire department!"

I limp-ran through the house to the backdoor, rushed out to find a lot bigger fire than the last time I had a backyard fire! I grabbed the hose to reattach it to the faucet, while she said the fire dispatch said not to try to put it out. I replied that I had no idea how long they'd be, I had to at least slow the spread (there wasn't time for me to explain to her that I had minimum fire safety training back when I started working at the hospital, so I knew not to continue spraying water if it caused it to spread, like with an accelerant fire, or saw sparking like with electrical fires).

Meanwhile hubby is still putting on his shoes (I put my flip flops on when I heard the doorbell). I'd put out the flames close to the house, and had started on the tall flames in a different area by the time he came outside. He grabbed the hose from me and started on yet another flaming area when he handed the hose back to me and left.

A few minutes (or seconds) later, no more water came out the hose! I'm scream-babbling about where's the water, so he answered that he changed out the hose for the better, longer hose because the one I grabbed wasn't long enough (in my defense, the better hose was on the side of the house, not right next to the faucet where I started). The second hose did work much better and had a longer reach, which was great since by then the fire had spread to the neighboring field! I screamed again: "It's spread to the field - get the field!"

Apparently our awesome neighbor had run back around to her house, for she answered she was getting her hose over to where her property shared boundary with the field. She then yelled she thought the sirens might be the fire department. So I went up front to wave them to our house. By this time, I didn't see anymore flames in OUR yard, even though there was still many smoking areas (another thing I remember from my short fire training, as well as putting out my other backyard fire: smoking areas will reflame!) There were still a few flaming spots in the field next door though, so that trumped smoking areas.

As the fire fighters got out of of their truck, I told them we had the flames out in our backyard, but it was still flaming in the field, also we still had many smoking areas we couldn't finish off until we got the flames out next door. The head fire fighter had me show him possible ways to get into the field next door - they had re-fenced, so no more easy access using our now useless gate to the field, but then I noticed there wasn't any more flaming in the field, yay!

So me and the head fire fighter return to the back, and the other fire fighters were putting out the smoking areas in both our backyard and the neighboring field. Meanwhile we discussed how it might have started, but after I told them we hadn't barbequed in over a month, didn't smoke in the backyard, didn't have enemies or recent fights (see, I have been questioned by the fire department before, but this time they didn't get on their hands and knees and smell the ground for accelerent LOL). So they decided if we put the sprinkler out, moving it around every 10-15 minutes, we should be ok - watch it for another hour or so, which we did.

I'm guessing it was around 1pm when things slowed down enough for us to go inside to cool off a bit (thank goodness it wasn't in the 100's, high 90's was bad enough!) I drank 1 1/2 glasses of water while hubby said he was going to thank our neighbor and reassure her we were watching to make sure it didn't reflame, and I told hubby maybe he should drink a glass of water first LOL (he did).

Well that fire was a kick in the backside for hubby to finally get out the bigger yard tools he had hidden away in his scary shed I can't get around in. He had a power saw that's easier to handle than a chainsaw (which I'm not allowed to use), but bigger than a hedge trimmer. We took turns cutting down underbrush that had grown up. There's so much we couldn't finish it all before dark, with taking breaks because of the heat. I had to take breaks because my hands were tender, since hubby couldn't find my garden gloves he borrowed (they're found now, and will be used tomorrow!)

Later on, hubby told me he moved the small bottle outside in the middle of where he thought the fire started, so it wouldn't cause any more fire. I didn't even know it was out there, probably hidden under the underbrush. I just kept up my small exercise area and area around the picnic table - I couldn't get the lawn mower beyond my little areas.

Well last fire about 10 years ago, when the fire fighters were into arson investigation mode, we finally figured it started from a yard tool plastic wrapper left out, even though there wasn't a lot of underbrush back then. But it seems it's becoming a pattern now, so NO MORE clear plastic or glass in the yard, especially during droughts, or even just hot summers! For they'll magnify the sun's rays on the dry grass/brush and start a fire!

Big thanks to HFD Station 52! I'm deciding what I should give them as a thank you gift - I'm thinking fruit, since there's not as many allergies/sensitivities with fruit, and no big reports of food poisoning. Organic for sure!

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