Yesterday afternoon, around 3, we heard the firetrucks heading out. High winds began very early yesterday morning so we knew whatever was on fire was doomed to be serious. Both for property and for the fire fighters. By the time Richard got home at 5, he told me there were 2 fires burning, one to the east & one to the west. Still don’t know what was burning east, but west became a nightmare. At dusk when watching the huge smoke plume, approx 6 pm, we took a drive to find out what was happening. We only got 5-6 miles before the smoke was so thick we couldn’t see, that’s when the firefighters turned us back. I took what photos I could but no flames were close enough for me to get, the smoke was bad enough and we got nervous. With winds howling and headed to our town, where our home is the first house on the west edge of town, we headed home to prepare for the worst.
Richard made several calls to local friends and found that the fire was HUGE and Bucyrus, 9 m west, was in trouble. No one knew the extent of it yet but warnings for our evacuation were pending. Fire crews had been sent in from as far away as Montana and Rapid City, SD (200 m south). Flames were reported at 40′ high. We called parents so they were aware of the situation, and our neighbor friend Marlene to arrange to pick her up if we had to evacuate. From our second floor bathroom and hallway west facing windows we saw the fire crews had shut off Hwy 12 W right at our town edge. Only a couple hundred yards from our house. Too close for comfort. We made our plans on what we would grab if needed. Our nerves shot, the late hour and maddeningly incessant howling wind, drove us to bed in exhaustion.
Tossed and turned and finally got up at 3:30, our usual hour anyway, and got the news the fire has been mostly contained. It’s 6:30 am now, still dark outside so we wait for news of how much of Bucyrus is gone and what is still burning. Winds are predicted to grow even stronger through today and finally subside late tonight.
We pray for those who lost property, sentimental belongings, family homes, precious photos. We thank God for our own safety and our beautiful town being spared. We thank God for saying “No” when we prayed and begged for the farmhouse on 6 acres in Bucyrus we wanted so badly earlier this year. Now we know why He said no.
Further updates and daylight photos when available.