Yikes. That was close!
I don't have a picture of the fire that almost took off and burned the beach and our houses down this morning-- because I was a little involved in putting it out instead. A campfire up by the trail to the road by the old Baha'i Center was left smoldering last night, with a red plastic half-full gas can a few feet away, right up in the edge of the spruce trees maybe 500 feet from the homes here. We discovered it just in time, on our morning dog walk, right after my friend Beth chose to walk south instead of north first ( a fateful decision if ever there was one. Afterwards we joked she must by clairvoyant...) We smelled smoke (it's a south wind) and checked out the campfire area and noticed smoke was bellowing up from the duff behind and in front of the pit. And the gas can too- which I pulled up the trail to the road. That's when Beth yelled "flames!" and the dogs all barked, and she handed her cell phone to me while she tried to stomp it out, and I called the police, and then Beth started pushing back the branches and saying something like "oh no," which I repeated-- though we tried not to panic--- but it was low tide and the water was far away, and we didn't have a bucket-- "oh no!" is right.
Then I remembered those safety talks on the radio-- and the fire extinguisher on my cellar steps, and I ran home as fast as I could, while Beth stayed and kept kicking at the fire. I hollered for Chip who was doing the breakfast dishes, and he grabbed the extinguisher and we ran back down the beach to the smoking, flaring old log and duff that Beth was trying to keep from torching the trees (one branch lit but she slapped it down--) and then Chip blasted the fire extinguisher and smoke went everywhere and we all coughed, and Beth rested a minute on her hands and knees, and Chip said, "Are you okay?" and she coughed, "Yes, just a little adrenaline is all." Then the police man came, and Jen drove up in the fire truck, and everyone hopped out and doused the smoldering duff and broke up the pit and saved us all.
Just like that we had a happy ending.
The moral of the story? Please Don't start fires in the duff or anywhere near trees and beach grass, and make sure any fire you do have is really, truly out before you go home.
That was close. Too close.
I love the HVFD.
(And this is the picture I took this morning on our bike ride to Chilkoot. Before all the excitement.)