Forest Fire on Windbeam Mountain

I drove over to the barn this afternoon to brush a few horses but the place was almost empty, just one rider in a usually busy ring. She told me they had all gone for a day-long trail ride. Ahhhh, I thought. A perfect day for this–not too buggy yet, the trails are dry, it’s not too hot or too cold. I was glad to know they were out there after a long winter of walk-trot-canter in circles in a cold indoor arena.
On my way home, I noticed fire vehicles parked alongside the road close to “my” heronry that I’ve been monitoring as a volunteer for NJ Fish and Wildlife since March. Worried that something was going on that would affect the nesting birds, I pulled over in time to see a Forest Fire Service helicopter roar overhead while towing an enormous orange basket. Windbeam Mountain was on fire. A little too close for comfort for my friend, Suzanne, as well as a big chunk of the town. Gulp. As the crow flies (and flames jump) it’s not all that far from where I live either. Gulp.
I stood with a small group of volunteer firemen as they coordinated with the Fire Service rep about where to hike to re-establish the fire line. Turns out the fire began last night and the flames jumped the line this morning.
“Watch out for rocks falling, and just stay away from that guy,” he instructed, pointing at the aircraft that had just dumped 500 gallons of water on the smoldering mountaintop and was spinning back to the other side of the reservoir for another load.
I shivered. And am keeping an eye on the treeline.

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6 Responses to Forest Fire on Windbeam Mountain

  1. Oh my. That is unsettling. I’m saying a prayer right now that you’ll be safe and the firefighters are able to put it out quickly.

  2. Hope they get that fire out quickly with minimal damage to the area. Stay safe.

  3. AnnL says:

    Oh, dear. I hope that doesn’t spread and it gets extinguished quickly. It’s very dry around here but we’re getting rain tonight. I hope the rain gets to you.

    Also, wanted to thank you for your post on my blog. That was so nice of you to think of me. I hope to be blogging again soon.

    Ann

  4. deejbrown says:

    The fire was finally put out last night and today’s drenching rains will help prevent more for the moment. Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers….

  5. Sparverius says:

    Glad its out and all is well. It will be fun now to watch life renew itself.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if you were one of the cars on the side of the road as we drove by…that helicopter was an amazing sight, and I regretted that I didn’t have my camera. I’m glad they got it out safely!

    K

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