Water from fire

19 08 2021

In remote Disappointment Valley, partnerships not only are valuable, they can be life-saving.

Our Spring Creek Basin mustangs got a boost in the water department from three different “departments” of wildfire-fighting crews recently. They had water left over from fighting a small fire (thank you!), and they very graciously offered the remaining water in two engines to the horses, pumping about 900 gallons of water onto one of the aprons at the main catchment.

On behalf of our mustangs, thank you VERY MUCH for your firefighting and for the gift of water for our mustangs!

From Cortez Fire Protection District: Matt and Brad.

From the Angelina, Sabine and Davy Crockett national forests and National Forests and Grasslands in Texas: Paul, Aurora, Danny, James and Jonesy – and Tracy (sp?), who’s working here as a dispatcher. They’re “on loan” to the Forest Service here in Colorado (Dolores Public Lands Office), replacing the previous crew (hi also to Matt, David and Marie!). Their connection is a firefighter named Bear, who came with a small crew to tackle a small fire I reported a few years ago. Bear now is serving in Texas with the U.S. Forest Service. Small world!

From the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control: Chris, Jim and Cory.

Big shout out to all of these fine men and women who work long hours in back-of-beyond places. … I bet they don’t often get to see (and help!) wild horses while out on assignment! Thank you, thank you, thank you … from all of us who love the mustangs!





The good and the not-so-much

15 06 2020

Skywalker helps distract us from the dry, brown conditions and … what is that, in the distance, far to the southeast … ???

The East Canyon Fire blew up Sunday because of lightning Saturday. It started on private land east of Mancos, then moved to BLM land, and had grown to more than 200 acres as of yesterday’s reporting. Mancos is in eastern Montezuma County; the fire is about 20 miles west of Durango, which is in La Plata County. It put up a plume of smoke that was easily visible from Spring Creek Basin, more than two hours away by vehicle.

We’ve been under a fire-weather watch, wind advisories and red-flag warnings; strong winds, high temps, low humidity (9 percent!) and dry, dry country make conditions ripe for wildfires.

Stay safe, folks.





After the smoke, gold

18 08 2018

Puzzle and Spirit under the rainbow.

We got a drizzle of rain Thursday, and it dampened the smoke. An update from the Forest Service about the Plateau Fire noted that because of the rain, the amount of smoke might now be less: “Fire managers believe that Thursday was the last day of significant smoke that will come off the Plateau Fire.” We can hope!

To get the full view of the horses (Puzzle and Spirit) with the rainbow dropping its gold onto Filly Peak, from a vantage up-slope, I had to use the cell phone.

It was a peaceful, beautiful evening in Spring Creek Basin. 🙂

 





Smoke ‘n spots

17 08 2018

Chipeta; Temple Butte and McKenna Peak

Always the prettiest things out there. 🙂

 





‘I think I saw a cloud …’

15 08 2018

S'aka

I think I saw a cloud yesterday
It hung around a minute, then it just blew away
It’s another identical, dusty day
Only thing not telling a lie is the wind
I don’t believe it’s ever gonna rain again.

All signs fail in a dry spell
Don’t look to the sky
It’s got nothing to tell
But there are cracks in the ground
that run straight to hell
Maybe we’re paying for our sins
I don’t believe it’s ever gonna rain again.

Bone dry rocks where the water used to flow
Remember how fast it ran and how high it rose
Now that creek bed is empty as a dead man’s coat
Waitin’ for the wake to begin.

Old gambler crow sittin’ on a fence line
Lookin’ at me like he can read my mind
He says this country’s gonna pick you clean every time
Leave you twistin’ in the wind
I don’t believe it’s ever gonna rain again.

Bone dry rocks where the water used to flow
Remember how fast it ran and how high it rose
Now that creek bed is empty as a dead man’s coat
Waitin’ for the wake to begin.

I think I saw a cloud yesterday
It hung around a minute, then it just blew away
It’s another identical dusty day
Only thing not tellin’ a lie is the wind
I don’t believe it’s ever gonna rain again.

We’re all twistin’ in the wind
I don’t believe it’s ever gonna rain again.

~ Dave Stamey, “Never Gonna Rain Again,” Twelve Mile Road

It’s hard to see any clouds for the smoke … and we MUST believe it’s gonna rain again. 🙂





Fly away free

14 08 2018

Birds in Spring Creek Basin

Not much escape from the smoke these days.





‘Be cautious with fire’

12 08 2018

Pintos

Not much to say. … Terribly smoky. Many more people dealt with the smoke from the 416 and Burro fires – nearer to denser populated areas. Now smoke from other fires is blowing and settling in other places.

And there’s California …

None of it is good.

For a moment, a chance of rain appeared in our forecast for Friday. … Now there’s no trace of that chance.

Still, we hope.

(The blog post title came from a highway sign I saw yesterday that read: “Be cautious with fire and cigarettes.” Uh. … Really?!?!?! I have a much less polite way of thinking that people ought to be “cautious” with fires (!?) OR cigarettes (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)!)





Grey in the morning, red in the evening

11 08 2018

Temple Butte, socked in by smoke

Temple Butte and McKenna Peak seen through the haze of dense smoke on Friday morning. This view is looking east, around 10:30 a.m.

Skywalker, smoky sunset

Skywalker grazes against a smoky sunset a little after 8 p.m. Thursday.





Red at night

10 08 2018

Mariah

Thursday may have been the most smoky day yet in Disappointment Valley. The air smelled like the entire region was having a community barbecue.

West Guard Fire (south of Spring Creek Basin): 1,424 acres, 90 percent contained.

Plateau Fire (southeast of West Guard Fire; north of Dolores): 10,673 acres, 36 percent contained.

Bull Draw Fire (northwest of Nucla): 8,700 acres, 35 percent contained.

Moccasin Mesa Fire (Mesa Verde National Park): 185 acres, 100 percent contained.

Buttermilk Fire (north of Montrose): 748 acres, 70 percent contained.

We continue to send prayers to those affected … as well as gratitude to the firefighters working all these fires … and all those around Colorado and the West. We’re stuck firm and fast in the exceptional drought category.

We’re so thankful our mustangs are in good shape. They have water and forage and each other. While the humans worry, life goes on in Spring Creek Basin.





Summer of same

7 08 2018

Sunset over Disappointment Valley.

Still hot.

Still dry.

Still smoky.