Friday, April 10, 2009

Tis the Season

Oklahoma and Texas had wildfires last night. One of those fires hit the town of Velma. There were homes and business destroyed. Three firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation and one injured critically. We live between Duncan and Velma, but closer to Velma. It is where we attend church. Men from our church were among the firefighters, but I have not heard who the injured firefighters were. At this time, I do know a family who lost their home, but I have not heard any other news there.

The winds yesterday were just horrific, causing power lines to snap and set the dry grass on fire. Another fire was in the area of Loco, down Pinto Road and Santa Fe area. More homes were destroyed here. When we first moved to OK, this is the area where we lived. Loco is south of Velma – both towns are not far from where we live now, but we were in no danger as the winds blew from the south west and we live east of these areas.


There was also a fire in Ratliff City, which is on the east side of Velma. The fire burned 81 square miles including the fire station. Firefighters were helping in Velma. Both areas still have fires this morning, but it they seem to be under control. There was another fire in the Meridian area (a suburb of Dunan) which was hit heavy with fires just a few years ago. There were also fires around OK City to the north of us and St. Jo to the south – not to mention other parts of Texas.
When we went to bed last night, we could see the orange glow toward Velma and Loco and a beautiful cornbread moon shining above the glow. I tried to take some photos, but they did not work out well (try clicking for larger view). Sometime in the night the wind switched to a north wind and thing and gave the firefighters a break. It is amazing how bad these fires can be and how much damage they can do.

Thirty years ago today was the Terrible Tuesday in the Texhoma area. Several tornadoes touched down in Vernon, Wichita Falls, Lawton and areas in between. Fifty-four people died. Toby and I were living in San Marcos at that time. My parents just happened to be visiting us because it was spring break, but they headed home as soon as they heard about the tornadoes. Their home was fine, but the tornado was devastating to other parts of WF. About a week after the tornadoes, a friend of mine from WF showed up on our doorstep in San Marcos to stay with us for a while. She said she had gotten out of her lease early.

The good news this morning is the winds have died down and are out of the north. Moisture is moving in and rain is in the forecast for the weekend. Normally tornadoes are the big news this time of year, but due to the drought and wind, fires have been the big news.
Update:
I have heard this morning that fires zig-zagged through Velma burning differnt homes and businesses. Leaves outside of Janice's (Lindz' mom) home caught fire, but a neighbor put them out. Shay and Johnny got to the house to wet the yard and roof down keeping it safe. Out in Loco, Bubba and Courtney (one of my art students) had to fight the fires from their house several times, but saved it. The fires burned right up to the Wilson's (another member of our church and an art student) house, but they managed to keep the fire from their home. No one in our church lost their home and all are safe and well.

10 comments:

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

you know what is so strange is that i didn't even know about them until The Queen came home and read some internet news about them, of course i'm on the horn at that point, making sure those who may have been in harm's way were safe. Which i'm thankful to hear that you and the Lazy B are.

Mrs. Bear said...

I'm so glad you are safe. My prayers to those who lost their homes.

RJ said...

That's good news about our church family. The fire in the OKC area was in my hometown that I just moved from. The Midwest City/Choctaw area just east of OKC. They lost 55 - 60 homes and over 100 structures altogether. Just devastating. I haven't heard yet if anyone I know from there has lost a home.

inpassing said...

Lou, I'm so glad to have your update. I was really praying last night especially for our guys that were fighting the fires.It was really dangerous with those whipping winds.

Buck said...

I'm glad you're safe and that the wind has died down. We're fairly calm today, as well, and that's a great good thing. Yesterday was simply something else, wind-wise. I'm glad there weren't any fires in our area, coz it would have been ugly.

Mezzo SF said...

Glad y'all are safe and sound!!!

Jenny said...

Ugh, I hate fire season. Was evacuated a few years ago with my 3 year old and 11 day old boys when a fire was out of control and burned 3/4 of my ranch (firefighters managed to save my home). It was a very scary day, not knowing if I had a home to come home to.

Buck was wrong though. There WAS a fire in our county yesterday that did burn a home and 1,300 acres. Thankfully it was stopped by plowed fields on two sides and was contained then. I sure hope we all get much needed moisture and low winds.

Becky said...

I'm glad you are all OK up there, Lou. I remember Terrible Tuesday well. My friend Bill grew up just outside of WF and spoke of that day often.

GUYK said...

I remember the fire all too well. Fought many of them when I was a young man living at Fox

Jo Castillo said...

Fires are scary. So happy you are safe and send prayers for the ones that lost their homes.