Friday August 16th
The clock says it is a few minutes after 3PM in the afternoon. Looking south it is a sunny August day at 6,00 feet elevation on the Valley floor of the Wood River of Idaho in the Northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. The wind is blowing slightly southwest-to-northeast. The temperature is 9o degrees Fahrenheit with the humidity pegged at 7 percent.
At the same moment a fireball of flames over a mile wide and and up to 300 feet high consumes the last major ridge line above the valley floor and the Wood River. The fire waits for no one or thing in it is way. Experts on the subject of wildfires call this a Hot Fire. Incident Commanders for the United States Forest Service call this beast formally known as the Beaver Creek fire as the Perfect Fire. Why? Drought, Bark Beetle infestation, warm temperatures, extremely low humidity, wind, old growth forest with nearby grass floors are the finest ingredients available on earth for a hungry fire. Combined with a lack of manpower and equipment resources to counter the onslaught and voila you have; The Perfect Fire.
The Lubeck’s fully evacuate their house by 5PM. How the house and almost three acres of surrounding property makes out will be what it will be. There are no fears or worries about the material aspects on our part – indicated by how few personal posessions we take with us. Okay, I will miss my Epson 9900 printer that has been left behind.
The good news is we have our lives and our health. I also have the great pleasure of sleeping on a single cot in the District Health Offices with Merry [Christmas] Dog and Shae Dog. Linda says it is quite a sight.
Saturday, August 17th
On this morning the Beaver Creek Fire sits at 92,000 acres – 60,000+ in the last three days alone. It is hard to predict when and where this one will end. However over the past few days I lost so much of what is more important to me and what I really consider home – The Wood River Valley.