Whew. Yesterday was one hell of a day. All the constant edge-of-our-seats watching and preparing for the past two weeks as the fire was at this edge or that edge of the reserve or Morgan Valley culminated in a massive convergence of fire centers from the east, south, and west. All the chaparral to the east and north of our house burned, and pretty much all the grasslands in Morgan Valley. It’ll be a while before we feel threatened by fire again! All of our house and back compound is absolutely fine. Our water line supplying the house water is probably melted…need to investigate that. As for the Reserve facilities, 360 degrees around the headquarters is still unburned. Once we got back into Morgan Valley after fleeing the converging fire fronts, when most of the fire had simmered down, Paul and I quenched two grass fires burning at the toe of the hill that could have run up the hill and come near the facilities. There is still a chance that the various slopes around the field station will burn today: there are still a lot of small fire spots out there and the typical daily pattern is calm morning, rebuilding of heat midday, and flare ups in the afternoon. Just need to see what today brings. But the worst of it is over. The recovery is going to take a while; a lot of fences to replace burnt posts on, melted water lines in the valley, road reshaping, and preparing for erosion prevention that the predicted El Nino can precipitate.
It is going to be ONE AMAZING wildflower year next spring
From: Koehler, Catherine