I’ve been thinking about the wildfires in California today. My heart goes out to the people whose lives have been altered, whether they lost property or not. Thinking about the devastation made me consider our own dry state. I know what you’re thinking, “Not with the monsoon of June,” but prior to last summer, our drought lasted years.
Seven years ago, in Oklahoma’s back country, two young men were seen with fireworks. They set off a wildfire that burned so hot, it annihilated both the buried telephone cables and all microorganisms twelve inches deep in the soil. I took this picture today showing the fire’s continuing impact on one tree.
I remember because our home was within three miles of that fire. Fortunately for us, the winds blew the flames the other direction, but we went without land line telephones for a month. I live in a log house, so I keep my eye on the burn ban information at the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture anytime our climate is dry. Another fire that same season came within a quarter mile of my house. We were preparing to pump water out of our pond and wet down the roof when it changed course. So, all of this got me wondering, what can we do to help ourselves before another fire.
We need to do the following:
- Mow around our homes
- Chop down all cedar trees anywhere nearby. Filled with cedar oil, they go up like roman candles during a fire sending sparks thousands of feet away. I’ve seen it. Also, cedar trees are now invasive in our state. You’ll be doing all of us a favor.
- Get rid of any fuel around the house like dead tree limbs, firewood, etc.
- During a red flag alert, don’t shoot off fireworks. If you decide to shoot fireworks during non-drought conditions, fine, have a garden hose nearby.
- Follow the directions from the Oklahoma Agriculture Department regarding burn bans.
- Watch the Firewise landscape DVDs and plant some the shrubs and trees around your home that the forestry department recommends.
I know this year was a record one for rainfall, but with our wacky weather, drought will be back and sooner than you think, fire danger will be too.
Forgive me for “rooting” for the underdog, the much-maligned red cedars. From June-September, our honeybees gorge themselves on both nectar and pollen. I vote for rust-resistant apple trees, cedars away from front porches, and nectar-happy, pollen-laden, honeybees!
It leads to many more dirt roads. We drove way out in the country (about five miles from here.) There’d been a rain, and the mud was slick. We almost slid off into a ditch. All to get a picture.
Hey, Best Girl, thank you. I’m your biggest fan too. Nobody cares more about refugees than you. A blog post for later. 🙂
That is one lovely banner you have on your site. Makes me want to stroll the red dirt road and see where it leads.
The blog is amaaazzzing!! Your work has really paid off and it is a site that you can be proud of and represents all of the natural beauty of Oklahoma. Now I can enjoy the lovely pictures and learn something at the same time. I am your biggest fan, next to your wonderful family.
I didn’t know you were ready to launch your blog. I’ll add it to the blogroll. It looks great!
So glad you are okay, and it’s lovely hearing from you. I can just see your smile.
Greetings to you, Dee. I’m happy we can take this blogging journey together. You have to come on over and see my Salvia story – It’s the case of the missing blooms.
This Monday morning dawned much brighter and more hopeful that SoCal’s Santa Ana winds will subside and all those San Diego gardeners whose homes and landscapes were threatened will begin the recovery. And there are 2,000 lost homes here. Your advice on fire-proofing the garden is essential. Take heart!