Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wild Fires...

Yesterday and into today there has been a brush fire blazing a little over a mile away from my home.  I live on Long Island and the last time we saw a brush fire was in 1995 when over 6,000 acres of the Pine Barrens burned for days.  Where I live is just outside the evacuation zone and that doesn't make a person sleep well at night.

I laid down still sort of chatting with the person I mentioned yesterday, and fell asleep during the chat which was perfect.  Had we not been talking there is no question I would have been checking News 12 Mobile every few minutes to make sure the evacuation site did not move to where I live while I was asleep.

The 1995 Sunrise Fire didn't phase me.  At the time I was 14 and I had no idea what the Pine Barrens was, nor did we live anywhere near it.  It didn't affect me so I wasn't disturbed by it.  Now I am much more a nature girl then I was then and the idea of the natural landscape on Long Island being destroyed pains me regardless of where I live.  After the 2011 hurricane passed through last summer while driving home I was welling up with tears seeing how tortured the trees looked, bright beautiful leaves everywhere, branches across highways...

I am sitting here at work trying to look up any news.  It might be nice to know what I am going home to.  It appears the evacuation area has not changed and it sounds like the fire might be almost out, but if that is the case then why is Gov Cuomo flying out to see the damage and possibly declare State of Emergency?  That I do not understand.  There is a press conference going on now I believe but I can't view it here.  So I will have to wait.  What I did read is that there are small patches still burning and if that is the case then we still have a big problem.  The weather says 30% chance of light rain and without a heavy rain I doubt this light rain will do anything more then feed the flames and not extinguish them.  You know the oxygen in the water fuels fire unless it is enough water to suffocate it.  (I know a tiny bit of science).

If it is over that is absolutely amazing how quickly our volunteer fire fighters were able to put it out.  From what I heard late last night the emergency plan being utilized was created in 1999 after the Sunrise Fire to aid in preventing a full blown emergency.  I also think they had said over 100 fire departments were on the scene both from Suffolk and Nassau County.  They had the Expressway HOV lane shut down for emergency vehicles and workers only.  I was also informed of possible power outages due to the fire.

I am listening to all of this and knowing I am right next to it.  When I was falling asleep I could hear emergency sirens rolling down the main street by me and I knew where they were going.  Scary stuff.  I am nervous.

What was super sweet was both my friend last night telling me to put a sprinkler in my room and one of our distributor drivers this morning popping in to ask me if I was okay.  One of our distributor drivers (not a regular one) happens to be my neighbor and he is good friends with our regular driver who I believe also lives near me.  I also checked with the few friends I have that live in the area of the fires and everyone seems to be unaffected so far.  Woo hoo!  Good news!

I would like to take a trip over there after everything has been put out and cleared or cleaned up?  I am not sure what follows a brush fire other then replanting and I guess re-fertilizing the area (if that is possible).  As of now they are only letting emergency in and I am pretty sure it's not a scene I want to be near.

Oh and I should give a shout out to my two favorite firefighters Tom Calandra and Nick Beckman who have both been fighting these fires.  Thank you.