Another clueless, airhead model

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Bastrop Complex Fire

The Bastrop Complex fire consumed over 1300 homes and 34,000 acres in a swath south of Bastrop Texas.  Moving from the east, it jumped the  4-lane state highway 71 and continued into a subdivision.  There was no logic in the way houses were engulfed by flames.  Fanned by 40+ mile winds the fire would destroy one home yet leave its neighbor intact.   Local firemen told us this was going to happen but their advise to thin heavy brush in the neighborhoods was ignored.  We could only speculate why houses burned that had brick walls and metal roofs.  Perhaps the super heated air and firebrands entered through side vents of the attic?
We got the call but like many of the hundreds of firefighters mobilized were too late to help other than mop up small fires or chainsaw trees that were a falling hazard.  Residents continuously thanked us for saving their homes but we had little to do with it.  Still, it was a comfort for them knowing we were there.  Three days later the returning residents sifted through ashes for anything to connect to their past. 

Coworkers Steve Foster (sawyer) and Matt Callahan (swamper).  Matt is hammering wedges into the cuts made by Steve. These wedges direct the fall of the tree as they are further hammered in.  This tree was a falling hazard because most of its base was burned away.  Clearing away brush from the perimeter allows for a quick exit. 

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