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Thread: Contemplating Fire Evacuation

  1. #1
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    Default Contemplating Fire Evacuation

    It has been a very dry year thus far. Since July 17, 2017, we have had 0.6" of moisture. Currently there is a prairie fire to our south about 5 miles away. Fueled by 40 to 50 mph winds yesterday, it started at I-25 southwest of us and initially moved to the northeast. Then the winds changed to the west, and the head of the fire is currently southeast of us, having traveled 15 miles. Ten structures have burned in this one. It is currently 0% contained.

    We are not in an evacuation zone, nor are we currently threatened. Winds are expected to be lighter today, but out of the southeast, and high winds tomorrow out of the southwest. These things move fast on the plains, and by the time the Sheriff says, "Get Out!" it is generally too late to gather stuff.
    So, we are making preparations, just in case.

    Our papers are secure in a fireproof safe in a root cellar out back, so no concerns there. First consideration, then, is Kathy's horse. The trailer is hooked to the truck, ready to go. Then, things that are irreplaceable - a few heirlooms, photos, trains that are out of production. Then things that insurance won't cover: firearms valued in excess of $2,000;, for example. Next, we take photos of all our possessions in the house, barn, etc. Go-bags are packed with clothes and meds.

    Finally, we get on with our lives, making sure one of us is home to load the horse and drive the truck out.

    We don't have hurricanes and very rarely tornados. We don't have mudslides. We rarely have blizzards - they do happen, but we just hunker down and check the generator's fuel supply. But we do have quite a few dry years and we do have WIND, and then we have to be wary.

    As for the layout? I hope it is well enough documented for insurance purposes. We cannot evacuate both the layout and the horse, and living things get priority. I can rebuild the Rheinland Bayern Bahn, but I could not forgive myself if I left an animal to a fiery fate.

    I am not particularly worried and we are not in any immediate danger. Like having a fire extinguisher in the house - you don't go around worried about a fire, but you prepare, "just in case." After all, all it takes is one idiot throwing a cigarette out a car window and a bit of wind - the pastures are tinder dry.

    A few years back we had two close calls, and this is what it looked like:



    In the far distance, our house and barn are in the group of trees on the right, untouched. The ruins in the foreground are a half mile from our house, at the mouth of the lane which is the only way in or out (of course we could have cut through the pastures if necessary).

    So I load up my trains in their travel racks, pack the things that I can, and get on with life. Please excuse the ramble - I was just contemplating evacuating the trains when I started this.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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  3. #2
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    Hope that you and your home are safe.

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    Gordon, our thoughts are with you!!!! Hope everything willl turn out well. In light of everything, these trains are just toys compared to life and other property.

    Keep us posted.

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    The predicted winds out of the southeast have not yet materialized. Currently light wind out of north. Firefighters seem to be doing well - I can't see as much smoke as yesterday. So far, so good.

    As dry as this country is on a regular basis, being ready is an annual routine. Thanks, guys!
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Yikes, that is a sticky situation you have got there. I hear people say they would never live where I do because of tornadoes, but no matter where you go, there is something!
    Daniel Dawson

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    Praying for the best for you Gordon.

    We're in a similar boat here in north/central Arizona mountains. Extreme drought (only 2.5" so far this winter) and we're entering the driest time of the year (single digit humidity) from now until early July when the monsoon season starts in. April thru end of June day winds are 20-30 mph. Very nervous this year.

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    The current danger appears to be past. I can see the burn to our southeast, but very little is active. Predicting high winds again tomorrow, from the southwest. Not unloading the truck yet.

    Looking at the crawler on the TV, some 40,000 acres and 12 structures burned. They call it 10% contained. This is grasslands. It is not as if all those acres are currently afire. After the leading edge passes through an area there is nothing but burned grass in it's wake. Hotspots such as cow pies and piles of horse apples, may smolder for days. The fire crews will monitor the situation for a few days after the fire is deemed out.

    All is well here.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Good news!

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    Be safe...............
    "It's not whats best......It's whats best for you"

    Gary

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    I hope they can contain the fire and you and your family stay safe Gordon.
    Rob

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    Wow, here we have nothing but flooding and snow. Your priorities are good, hope things go without incident for you and yours.

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    Good luck Gorden!
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

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    Wow. When I clicked on this, I thought you'd be talking about making sure there's access to windows and open-enough aisles in the train room. Didn't occur to me that you might mean evacuating your property for a wildfire!

    Glad to hear things are safe, at least for now. I pray they stay that way.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    Glad all is well and hope it stays that way!
    ~ Moose (Co-founder of the Mt. Tahoma & Pacific Railroad, located some where in the Pacific Northwest)

    "Beware the Train of Thought that Carries no Freight..."

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    Hope all goes well Gordo.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    Wish I could redirect the overabundance of April rain we've had in Pugetopolis to your part of the country.
    Paul Schmidt

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    Our prayers are with you and yours.

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    Last night we felt comfortable enough to go into town for a xeriscape gardening seminar put on by the city water utility. Best one we have ever attended!

    Today, though, there is another high wind warning, winds from SW. Still have not unpacked the truck. No imminent concerns.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Thanks for the good thoughts and prayers, friends! This morning we got the all clear: the 117 Fire is 100% contained despite the wind yesterday. We are still having high wind from the direction of the fire today , in advance of a cold front coming through. The good news is that rain is forecast - but we will believe that when we see it. Even when the forecast is for 100% chance of rain, they may get it in town 20 miles away, but we are in a micro climate of arid plains and rarely get the rain or snow that Colorado Springs gets.

    At any rate, I'm getting ready to go out and unload the truck!

    In the last 20 years we have had 5 previous fires that came much closer to us than this one. In one, that very nearly got our house and barn, Kathy had to evacuate 3 saddle horses and 2 miniatures using a two horse trailer. The 2 minies went up front in the trailer's tack room; 2 saddle horses in the trailer; and one led by his lead out the driver's window. Luckily I left the truck home that day and took the car.

    The best way to protect the homestead is to keep everything closely mowed for two hundred yards and to not have any brush or burnables near any structures. We are assiduous in that regard. That leaves plenty of defensible space for the fire crews to protect the buildings.

    Like others who live in areas with tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, etc., we don't go around in fear of catastrophe. We prepare as best we can and get on with enjoying life.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Glad to hear all is well! Back to the train fun!
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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