Nine years ago, almost to the day, my mom and sister watched a guy (wearing a coat in 100º weather...) walk up our street and continue up the mountain. About 30 minutes later the mountain behind our house was on fire. It turned out that the man was homeless and he started the fire because he wanted to go back to jail. He could have thrown a rock through the police station window and achieved the same result, but no...he had to burn up our mountain.
Fortunately for us, the winds carried the flames up the mountain and away from our house. We were one week away from moving in to the home we'd spent 10 months building and it was in danger of burning up before we ever slept there even one night. That night the wind shifted and threatened some homes to the north. Luckily, not one home in our community was destroyed due to that act of idiocy.
Today a similar fire raged above the mountain where my brother lives. Like us, they watched the planes fly in formation and drop retardant on the flames--it is really cool to watch them do it. And tonight they're probably trying (without success...) to keep the smoke smell from infiltrating their house. I remember having our clothes smell like smoke a week after the fire was out...it just lingers.
Like the fire that raced up our mountain almost a decade ago, I think the fire above my brother's house hasn't destroyed any homes. Hopefully it will stay that way. Today's fire was one of several that hit our state today. This morning, as I drove to work, I took pictures of the sunrise through the haze from yet another fire that broke out this morning.
Tomorrow's the 4th of July. Who knows how many fires will be started by the time we reach the 5th of July? I guess we'll find out.