Friday, July 17, 2009

Back From Burning

We made it back from burning with all our hair, a few new tan lines and a couple of sunburned faces. The first three days of burning were pretty intense. It is so dry in Texas that just about everything goes up in flames. Three years of very little rain will do that. So putting in black lines was a SSSSLLLLOOOWWW process. Colin had thought that it would have been a two day burn. Two days came a went and we only had half of it finished! Thank goodness for a great crew! Our friend Ray came and helped out the first three days, along with a kid from Sonora who rode with us named Sterling. They were life savers! But not to cut anyone else that was there short, because many people stopped what they were doing for two days just to sit in the smoke. Many guys just ran an ATV up and down the road looking for spot fires. I think that is one of the most important jobs on a burn. Colin's friend Kyle showed up the second day and he sat in the back of our truck running the sprayer while braving the heat while I drove. And boy was it hot!! The first day there was record highs...105* F! There was a point during the burn that Ray took the temp while sitting in a little draw and it read 117*F!!!!!! No joke. I think at that point it is almost too hot to sweat!
I ran the drip torch for the first part of the first day, then rode in the back of a spray rig in the afternoon. Colin had the hardest job. Being the burn boss he has to make sure that everyone is where they need to be, or close to it, and try to keep the whole crew happy. That in itself is not an easy task. Working with volunteers is sometimes very stressful. But Colin does an amazing job. NEVER does he ever loose his cool. He might be throwing up on the inside, but he is all put together on the outside. For that reason the rest of the crew is able to stay calm and do what needs to be done. Many many many people that Colin has worked with before have commented to me on how he is able to just be so calm and never buckles. That is what makes him such a great burn boss. He just keeps his cool and stays relaxed the whole time, even when things get a little western.
So we only got the top half of the pasture burned. Close to 400 acres. So we had to go back and finish up the last 300 + acres this past week. Due to Colin's wonderful leadership, and the fact that he does all his homework when it comes to burning, everything went off with out a hitch. So we have finished burning for now. Our next burn is scheduled for the end of next month and that will be a BIG one...over 1600 acres. Anyone want to help?!?!

Colin and Sterling (who is 16 and is a great kiddo!) lighting around the hunters camp on the second day.

The smoke from the head fire...this is what we all look forward too.
All of this pear is dead. Dead dead dead. Colin said that headfires have the ability to get over 1200*F and I don't doubt it! But that is what Bob, the owner, wanted to see. Now the pear will die off and make way for more grass for his cattle. Colin burned a pasture for him last year and he has been able to increase his livestock carrying capacity by 50% since the burn due to the increased amount of grass on that pasture than before it had been burned. I guess the proof is in the numbers.

*****Again, a very special thanks to all that helped us on this burn. Without you, we couldn't have gotten this done. Also, thanks be to God. He protected us and kept us safe when we needed it the most! It is awesome to be the daughter of the Most High!!

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