June has been a busy month. The weather, lack of mountain snow pack and low rainfall has been in the forefront of all farm duties. Unseasonably dry weather has prompted us to start hay season early by almost three weeks. The forecast is calling for 90- 100 degree temps for the next week and the grass will loose it’s quality quickly. It’s all hands on deck while the sun shines. We are carrying fire extinguishers and shovels on our equipment, just in case.
The crooked barn is almost gone and the permits have been secured for the replacement structure. Beginning construction has been delayed until hay season is complete.
Just a few days after our attendance at the annual logging operator fire danger training, a fire broke out on State lands just a few miles from the farm.
I detected a whiff a smoke about mid-day. By 2pm I could see smoke billowing up over our hillside. Neighbors were scrambling to determine what was going on. Thanks to social media and an alert Niece of mine, we found out the the Oregon Department of Forestry had been notified of the smoke early in the day with a 911 call by an alert individual.
By they time we knew anything was going on, the ODF had trucks, helicopters, planes and ground crews battling the fire that was in an area of dry slash. The ground affected had been a logging operation completed in early spring. Someone was using the land for recreation when the fire broke out. The slash/residue left after the logging operation was dried out from the unseasonable warm spring and became a tinderbox for the fire to take off quickly. The fire spread up a canyon and threatened to keep going.
Because of the quick response from ODF and local fire departments from many regions, the fire was contained at 67 acres. It was way too close for me.
Our logging project for this summer has been postponed because of the fire danger. We are not willing to risk the danger. There are always many other tasks we can do on the farm to keep busy until the fall rains come.