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Tag Archives: Twisp River fire

Weather has assisted fire fighters in the containment of the Twisp River Fire during the last few days. After a week of smothering smoke cloaking our valley, a couple of cold fronts passed through over the weekend, clearing the air with breezes and some rainfall. It’s a great relief. Yesterday brought blue skies and cool temperatures and a smoke-free atmosphere to the Methow. I hope the same thing is happening with the rest of the fire-ravaged landscape around the west.

Many homes in the Twisp River valley were saved by dedicated fire fighters. Our friends’ house is one of those. They live near the river and they asked me to come by to photograph their home and surroundings to preserve the memories of this event. Yesterday we joined them for a tour of their burned property. While much of the garden was burned, there is still food to salvage. The tomatoes, despite their scorched skin are still good on the inside! Corn cooked on the stalk tastes like corn cooked on the grill. Rhubarb is already coming back and the zucchini plant has new blossoms! This garden is a fire survivor!

Last year we were some of the fire survivors. This year, with the devastating fires in North Central Washington, there are many more fire survivors.

If you follow the news, you have probably seen my little town’s name featured the last few days. A human-caused fire started just a few miles from Twisp and rapidly burned some houses and took the lives of three fire fighters. It’s been an enormous tragedy.

We evacuated for two days while the fire behavior and wind were erratic and there was a possibility it could come over the ridge to our house. Luckily for us, it did not. The fire line is about a mile and a half away, as the raven flies. We returned, even though the whole valley was on level 3 evacuation notice, to see what was going on and to make our place safer. We keep our bags packed in case we need to flee again. Friday evening we went to Patterson Lake and watched the aerial fight to slow down the fire’s approach to a forested neighborhood. The pilots flying these planes are tremendously courageous to do what they do. Who ever imagined that DC10’s would be used for fire suppression? In addition to the big jets there are at least four small planes that can fly across a lake’s surface and suck water into pontoons to be dropped on the burning fire. There have been a wide variety of helicopters and other planes in use also.

The last couple of days there has been some cooler weather, holding the smoke close to the ground smothering most of Washington and grounding the aircraft. This does help the fire fighters on the ground because it also slows down the progress of the fire. When it warms up again and they can see the landscape, hopefully they will see a fire that can be contained.

And this is just one of the smaller fires that are consuming the landscape of our region. The Okanogan fires are much larger and threatening more homes.

Here is an article about the aircraft used in fire suppression.

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