Fall means burn season
November 5, 2007
This is my least favorite time of the year. The garden is shriveled up and brown and almost all the deciduous trees in my yard have lost their leaves. We’ve gone from a lush green park to a light brown color in the backyard. Thank God for the evergreens. That’s what pulls me through to spring when we can once again feel the joy of the colors green, red, yellow and white.
There is a good side to this time of year, with lots of hard work attached to the word “good.” It is also when it has cooled off enough to get out the tree saw, pruning sheers and clippers and start to prune back the shrubs and tree branches. We are lucky to live in Douglas County where we can burn our yard waste.
I am very cautious when I get ready for my burn. I have a fenced section in the yard with a large clearing around it. I load my pile and then, I have a refill pile a safe distance away to add to the fire as it burns down. Even though the county will let us burn with a slight breeze here in the Valley, I choose the day that is completely quiet. The burn regulations are published in The Record-Courier and you must have a copy to burn. I start burning right at 9 a.m. after calling dispatch at 782-9969. I make sure my hose works as one year it was frozen when I wanted to burn and I had to wait until the next permissible day. I also keep a rake and a shovel next to me in case I have to rake the pile in closer to keep it going. Lastly, I carry my cell phone with me in case I need to call my neighbor or 911 for help.
Last month, when Southern California was on fire, my youngest son Davis who attends school in San Diego, had to evacuate his home in Rancho Santa Fe, as the fire was burning west from Lake Hodges and headed toward his residence. My sister and her family live in the Ramona Country Estates and also had to evacuate their home as they watched the fire on the hill behind their house. A couple of years ago a lightning strike started a fire in Jackass Flats southeast of Lake Topaz. I was camping down at the Topaz campground. My mother came down for the day to swim with us and as Jenee, Mom and I floated out on our raft, I could see the fire looked close to my Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Ray’s house. So we grabbed our towels and hopped into the car and drove to my aunt’s house where we called them from our cell phone and caught them in Alabama. I explained the situation and Aunt Bonnie directed me to the spare key, the safe and two file boxes with their most important papers. It’s very frightening to think if you only had a couple minutes warning to leave your home, what would you take? Could you be ready that fast?
Since we live 20 minutes from my parents, my mother and I decided we are going to photocopy our important files and give the copies to each other. That way if there is not enough time to get out with any stuff and her house or my house burns down, we’ll be less worried about. Don’t forget to grab your computer tower. Be fire safe.
— Lisa Welch is a Johnson Lane resident and can be reached at 267-9350.