I won’t rehash all the news, as you can find it anywhere. But, I do want to highlight a couple finer points that in my opinion, are not only irresponsible, but, flat should NEVER happen. Period.
Now, living just mere miles away from the Bastrop wildfire, and the fact my Husband works in Bastrop, we’ve witnessed first hand, the heart breaking devastation of so many who have now been effected by the wildfires. And how it has brought together an entire community, in more ways than I could have imaged. It’s been both heart-warming and heart-breaking all at the same time.
There are just so many who have come to help, not to mention those who have now lost everything, also helping others in the face of dealing with their own losses. It’s been nothing short of inspirational.
Which makes the following even harder to stomach…
While checking on current progress of fire with Feds. and the renewed help and enforcements that are now flowing into Bastrop county to help fight this fire storm, I ran across this…
Apparently, as soon as the Feds. arrived “to help”, instead of JOINING forces, they took over and TURNED AWAY all volunteer fire fighters, including some who drove all night to come and lend aid! And that’s not all…
To read more on that, visit http://www.gonzalescannon.com/node/6410
We also had some serious air power coming in, that had many ready to cheer (I sure did, anyway :o)
A DC-10 aircraft that has been retrofitted for firefighting was heading for Bastrop County! I just kept thinking… Thank God and what the hell took so long to get all this extra help!?
But, the joy soon died. Apparently the “crew” is now on some “mandatory rest furlow”. So, they don’t even have the help of this plane until FRIDAY! And the winds are already kicking up again, TODAY. Meaning, apparently, this was NOT a well thought out plan! Seriously, they did NOT send BACKUP PILOTS? No-one else in the ENTIRE area can fly this plane? Really?
So, we now have a serious weapon to help fight the fires, just sitting there waiting for the pilots to get rested. While many local fire fighters have been going at it for over 56 hours!?
God help us all, if we need the Fed. Govt. to swoop in and rescue anyone. Oh wait… THEY ARE!
Which brings me to my OWN fire scare and why I ended up almost left to fend for myself and WALK OUT of our burning neighborhood! Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but, at the time, I had NO idea how bad the fire was.
Let me start from the beginning… With the severe threat of fire, there is truly no where in Texas that is safe and everyone stays on high alert, these days. Of course, sitting in the middle of 10 acres of dying trees, in a double-wide trailer is, I know, the LEAST safest place right now. But, none the less, it is, and has been our home for over 12 years.
So, mid-morning Tues., I hear a knock on my door and it’s my neighbor across the road, letting me know I better start getting ready to get the hell out Dodge. I look up and going over my house was what LOOKED like a large cloud. It was of course, smoke.
So, with phone in hand calling my Husband, pretty much only able to get out… “Fire in back door, get your butt home” (not quite in those words, but you get the point :o)…
I grabbed a few clothes, stuffed them in garbage bags, put the leash on our newest pup who doesn’t always listen and didn’t want running off… And we started up our 200 ft. dirt drive to our road.
Now, before I even get to the top of the drive, in comes a Sheriff car letting me know I need to leave. I told him my Husband was en route to pick us up. He said he could take me, but, not the dogs. I told him, unless my Husband doesn’t get here in time, I’m not leaving them. If I KNOW I can save them, leaving them would simply be wrong!
So, I’m now sitting at the top of my drive with my posse when my Husband calls to inform me, they wouldn’t let him through the road block. At this point I should mention, there are only TWO ways into our home. One, where he was stuck and were the fire broke out. So, he had to turn around and drive an addtl. 8-10 MORE miles around to come in the other direction.
Ok, I don’t see flames yet, and worse comes to worse, Sheriff will come get me. In answer to your next question… If I started walking with the dogs, there was a good chance two would wonder off and I didn’t want to add to my chaos.
In the meantime, TWO other Sheriff vehicles come down to see if everyone was out (one mind you was in a pickup, that my posse and I COULD have rode out in). I explained, probably screaming a bit by now, that YES someone IS picking me up, except you fools won’t let him COME GET ME!
Now, instead of the officer with the truck offering to take us out, he simply waived his hand, brushing me off and simply drove off. True story.
So, I’m STILL standing at the end of my drive down our back road, surrounded by trees (just to give you a better picture of my situation) and by this time, my Husband now makes it to the other road block.
Now, the other road block, mind you, is just up past THE END OF OUR ROAD. He again calls and says, they won’t let him in even though he TOLD THEM, his wife is standing there waiting. It was beginning to feel like the twilight zone or real life nightmare. I was still unsure at this point.
So, I said, ok, let ME call 911 and TELL THEM to let you in so I don’t DIE! Mind you, while all this going on the sky over my head continues filling with smoke.
Just about that time, the original officer that first came up my drive stopped and I commenced to telling him my Husband was sitting there and PLEASE GO GET HIM! Of course, by now, I’m thinking this is THE MOST ridiculous situation I have ever seen in my life!
So, long story short, a couple minutes later down comes a Sheriff car escorting my Husband in. We gathered what little belongings I had time to gather and left.
We were allowed back in a few hours later and our home and area were untouched. The fire had actually started and was contained to a near by field a little over a block behind us. So, we all considered ourselves extremely lucky, in the face of everything else going on around us.
Now, not to make light of ANY of this, but, to share what I can now very thankfully sort of find some humor in…
In the midst of the chaos of going back and forth with my Husband and wondering if NOW was a good time to start panicking… Our newest pup, a now full grown Border Collie… Thought the way to show HIS gratitude for our neighbors help and possibly saving our lives… Was to try to rip the throat out of his dogs!
So, with dog snarling, flailing and freaking out in one hand, phone in the other and NO-ONE seeming to care a LIVE person was standing in a potential fire zone… It was a day neither my Husband nor I will soon forget. And thank God everyday we were not harmed and still have our home.
All I can say is… If this is the meaning of “co-operation”, it is truly a wonder and miracle more lives have not been lost during this whole ordeal that is STILL far from over.
Keep Texans and ALL effected by wildfires in your prayers and if possible, please send support to those firefighters. They have done a truly incredible job, saved thousands of lives and their work unfortunately, is FAR from over.