Memorial Day, 1983, most of Red Mountain went up in flames.
These were some serious grass fires and in those days you can see that we didn’t have much landscaping to protect us. Houses were few and far between — the isolation we sought when moving out here had the potential to work against us when the fires came.
When we saw smoke, we got busy: Dad hitched the disk to the tractor, mom and us kids started laying out sprinklers and hoses to try to establish a perimeter. All animals went on lock-down. Once the sprinklers were going we grabbed shovels.
Dad disked our property line and our neighbors’ lines, digging about a 30′ swath of dirt. It didn’t always help, and I can remember times of him driving the tractor and disk right into and through the flames, trying to bury the fire and drag it away from us. We don’t have any pictures of that, we were all busy.
We had to pay attention to wind direction, sprinkler position, and keep an eye out for the fire spreading to where we weren’t looking — it happened sometimes.
I always worried about the wildlife and how the coyotes, curlew, burrowing owls, and snakes survived.
Here, for the Throwback Thursday, are some photos of Red Mountain from June of 1983 after the Memorial Day fire, and now, July of 2014.
And, as a little bonus Throwback Thursday material, today’s my birthday. Here’s a picture of me when I was just little, with the pony that started it all.