1/9/15

More on Incident #1

Incident#1:

I was 15. 
I was called out of class and told to go home. A fire had started on the mountain and it was bad. Maybe I could get there in time to save something. Only I didn't drive. I had to rely on the one person offering to drive me, a neighbor people told me was my friend.
Before night, the fire spread. People, animals, and houses were lost. So was I. I left word with everyone I saw, asking them to relay a message to my parents that I getting a ride to an aunt's house and please come find me. 
When night fell, I caught a ride to the near side of the eerie red fire line, where police blocked road and kept people from their burning homes. I was looking for my family. Were they safe? Had they escaped? Where were they? 
I watched houses blow up on the hillside as fires consumed every flammable object in their path and I prayed for them.
"Your dad snuck in to keep the fire back from your house," an unknown neighbor said. "He's got help." Then he walked off. 
---
http://www.nytimes.com/1985/04/06/us/7-states-in-south-fight-forest-fires.html
---
Not the 1985, but the same glowing look.
From http://www.valdese.com/#!history:
"Valdese has had its share of natural disasters such as in 1985 when a large forest fire crossed Mineral Springs Mountain to the south and threatened to jump Interstate 40 and overwhelm Valdese. The blaze was a low-burning fire which was difficult to access and moved quickly, aided by swirling winds. Fortunately, the fire eventually died out before much of Valdese was affected, but many of the homes on top of the mountain were virtually disintegrated."

From DIVISION OF FOREST RESOURCES
YOUNG OFFENDERS FOREST CONSERVATION Bridge PROGRAM:
In this report about the start of an organization in the aftermath of this fire, we're the High Peak Fire.
"On April 4, 1985, within a one-hour period, three large wildfires broke out in the foothills and mountains
of Western North Carolina. These fires, along with numerous smaller fires, destroyed thousands of acres
of woodland and more than forty homes and outbuildings. The High Peak Fire destroyed 27 structures 
and 5,000 acres of woodland in Burke County alone. Resources were stretched to their breaking point
and often unavailable."

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