A journalist observes life in the far north.
Rain for two days now has slowed the fire, which is mapped at about 6,200 acres. The smoke and clouds have inhibited any air attack, but there are about 150 people working on the blaze, which is reportedly five or 10 miles from our house.
Mainly, they are bull dozing a fire line down the backside of Murphy Dome. I’ve been driving to the top periodically to check for fire activity and it’s not reached there yet.
The blaze is called the Hardluck Creek Fire and it’s claimed two backcountry cabins along with a vacation home. They initially said lightning sparked it but now they think someone on a four-wheeler started the fire.
The fire service apparently came by the house yesterday while we were at work. They left behind leaflets about cutting down trees near the house. There’s a community meeting tonight, and I’ll be covering it for the paper.
Alec said he has a bull dozer on retainer, and he’ll mow down the trees near our house should the fire get close. I hope that doesn’t happen because we just got a deck built and it’s nice to be outside and look at the forest. (Of course, it’s even nicer having a home to live in.)
The smoke in town has halted activity at the airport and the other night, when the smoke was really bad, they were flashing a message on tv, suggesting anyone having trouble breathing call 911 or go to the movies because the theater has filtered air.
Worst case scenario: the warm, dry weather returns and the winds start blowing, as they do up here. The winds could fan the fire, pushing it up over Murphy Dome and into my neighborhood. That would be very, very bad.