Fire Hazard this 4th of July
As I sit in my dining room with four fans spinning, aiming at me, I can’t help but wonder if Las Vegas has found me. I grew up there, and one of the reasons I left was the incredible heat! If you weren’t in air conditioning, the lake or pool during the summer, you felt like you were dying. It feels like I’m back in Las Vegas now but this time, we don’t have air!
I remember swimming in Lake Mead when it was over 120 degrees outside, diving down deep to find the colder water just to cool off a little as the lake was close to 90. That was the first time I felt heat exhaustion. Who would have thought I would be covered with blankets with horrible chills at 120 degrees?
Living in the Northwest for all of these years, we’ve had our share of interesting weather. Planning Hannah’s outdoor birthday parties in late June was always a crapshoot. The odds of rain during June are really good. One year we did a surprise party a few days before her birthday. That was the first year it rained on her birthday. We lucked out.
May and June weather this year has been remarkable.I never thought the day would come when I would hear people complaining that it hasn’t rained! I can’t remember the last time we had wet grounds. I’ve been able to go for incredibly long walks almost every day without a rain jacket. I feel a little bit spoiled. As July approaches in two days, we still love the remarkable sunshine but the weather has put fear in many of our minds.
We go to the Oregon Coast every 4th of July for a family gathering and to be in the La de da Parade. This year leaving our home behind with cats inside makes us a little nervous. With June being as dry as it has and the weather as hot as it is, fire season started long before we expected it to start. The standing joke in the area is summer doesn’t start until after the 4th of July weekend. This year, we are weeks in to summer; our grass is dead and brown.
Already you can see smoke scattered all over the sky as you make your way around the area. There is a huge fire already in the Wenatchee area that has quickly taken out 28 homes. Embers from this fire flew further away and started fires in another part of the town. Firefighters are battling just to contain it from spreading to other neighborhoods.
On another 4th of July note, my dog Marleigh is deathly afraid of fireworks. When we are on the coast, we have been forced to medicate her with a doggy tranquilizer or she is a nervous wreck. If she happened to get outside when the booms went off, she would run and run and never be found again. Inside the motel she’ll climb in the bathroom cupboard, the bathtub, anywhere she can to escape the sounds. Her entire body quivers as she looks for a place to hide. It is heartwrenching to watch her go through this. It’s equally as hard to watch her eyes roll back in her head on drugs, but at least she is at peace.
With the area being as dry as it, do you think we might be able to hold off on burning our town down on the 4th of July? I know people that normally go away, this year they are staying home with the hose ready to put out potential fires. I know law enforcement can’t control it because it will be going on in practically every neighborhood but come on people, let’s let common sense prevail. There will be so many fires this year. With the amount of fire trucks in the area compared to the amount of fires that will start, I can see nothing but damage and people losing their homes as a result. To this day, I still see people throwing cigarette butts out the car window! Yes I am the one that reports you every time. Mankind, you worry me!
To keep our beautiful northwest looking as beautiful as it does, we need to find another way to celebrate the 4th of July holiday, at least this year. Please don’t light those bottle rockets this year. Sparklers are beautiful to hold and play with but with the brown grass in most neighborhoods, it won’t take much to start a fire. Let’s teach our kids that sometimes, we have to find another way to celebrate. It is too brown and to dry for a single spark to float into the wrong place. I know I wouldn’t want that on my conscience. Please… no fireworks this year! If you do light them off, stay away from my neighborhood!
Here is a news report with pictures and videos of the Wenatchee fire.