time to celebrate - 100% contained...

Backburns can be our friends...
or our enemy, 
but yesterday it was our best buddy...

A backburn is when you set a control line around the main fire (by scraping off the topsoil with a large dirt moving machine, like a  road grader) and then you ignite it from different set points to burn back into the fire, reducing the original fire's fuel load. This has to be done with the upmost caution, as you must depend on wind consistency, the type of fire (hotter and faster means wider control lines!) and the ability to keep up with the fire itself. When we timber cruise, we carry a lighter just for this purpose in case we are caught in a wildfire on the ground; people have been saved by burning an area of grass and stepping into the black. 
the black is good.

Driving into the black that night of July 3 saved us.

Here you can see the line in front - although this creeping fire may get hot, if there is no or a even low wind,
it shouldnt blow hot sparks across the line into the unburned portion...its a risk. a big one.

But this is what stopped the Dutch Fire in Powder River county yesterday.

This fire was all over the place, including the Custer National Forest, and private land.
Unfortunately it burned over 19,000 acres (thousands) of grazing land and timber within 36 hours.  

However, since we have little to no fuel on the ground due to the Taylor Creek fire on our place
(we lost 95 percent of our trees on approx. 153 acres)
we were in no immediate danger from losing anything.  

We already lost it.  

But this one came awfully close.

The best news is that no one lost any buildings or homes this time.

this time.


Here if you look closely you can see the flame where the trees are "topping out" in the crowns.

This sidehill portion is crowning.
this is what happened the night of July 3rd on many ridges in our woods.

we are lucky to be alive. 

Heres where I must admit I was shaking while i took these close up crown fire photos,
even though i knew this time I was safe. 

The Forest Service and BLM really were on top of things.

but it will still take some time.

Baby is also still affected ; he was crying out over and over until i went and talked to him in his paddock, and gave him some things to do to take his mind off 
of the smoke and pink haze in the glowing sky the night before.

it will take some time.

it will take time.


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