– one –
The fire continues to rage (see link for updates, although they are so busy it gets a bit behind). Don’t know how much ground it gained last night. J and I attended a community meeting about the fire, saw some neighbors and learned a lot.
Fortunately, we are not inside that blue line on the map. The blue line is National Forest area that is closed and being evacuated of all recreational users. We are in the white area towards the top center of the map.
The red line on the map is where the fire was as of yesterday afternoon. Winds are out of the southwest, so the fire is currently headed in a more northeastern direction (detoured by certain terrain issues of course) and appears to be headed to the east of us – right into Cottonwood and Hyalite canyons.
Cottonwood canyon got evacuation warnings yesterday afternoon, and Hyalite is recreation only, and was actually evacuated (campers, hikers, fisherman all gone) yesterday evening into this a.m. Since Hyalite is not a residential area, I’m not as worried about it, although we’ve certainly enjoyed hiking and fishing and camping up there, and it would be a shame to lose so much of the beauty up there. Here are a couple of links to post I’ve done about activities in that area: The Waterfall Hike ; Fishing and Wild Flowers
The bigger issue about Cottonwood Canyon is that canyon houses the YAA camp J goes to ever summer and is run by the wonderful Hawthorn family, and the home of some very good friends, Rachael and Larry. They are all on heightened alert, as the fire has reached the upper portions of the canyon as of yesterday afternoon. Lots of prayers are needed for this situation.
The fire is also threatening the Bozeman water supply.
When asked how long it would take to get the fire under control the answer was pretty much “until fire season is over, which is usually sometime between mid-September and October 15th. The season ends when a weather changing event occurs – big freezes, big storm (usually snow, but we’d take rain at this point). The current team in charge is assigned for 14 days minimum, so they aren’t thinking this is just a couple of day event.
Yesterday the one and only helicopter fighting this fire was flown by Mike, the husband and father of some of our dear friends. He is an amazing fire fighter with his aircraft, but he’s supposed to be down in Yellowstone National Park fighting fires there, and it is unclear how long he’ll be available for the Millie fire. More – much more – is needed to get this fire under control. The hard part is there are other fires all around, and resources are very scarce. The Pine Creek fire over in Paradise Valley has force evacuations, and already taken some homes. It is about the same size as the Millie fire, but because it is already to residences it is rightly getting a bit of a priority for equipment. We know a family over there too, and assume they are already evacuated (although their home is very defensible, so I am optimistic it will be saved).
This is the smoke from our back deck this morning at about 6:15 a.m.
– two –
On a lighter note, we visited the Theodore Roosevelt National Park last weekend when we picked up Tank, and these are some photos of the North Dakota Badlands – much more beautiful than I expected. The rest of the photos in this post are from that trip.
– three –
Because it is the way things go, last week Andy won a jury trial, and was flying high with that verdict, but this week we got bad news on another case from the Montana Supreme Court. Still God is good, and we are prevailing in the battle against discouragement. That jury verdict was really amazing!
– four –
I think the first week of school was a success – the binder is still neat and in tact. Homework has all been done, and to my knowledge turned in. We’ve made it to the bus (just barely) every day. What more could we ask for?
– five –
Can you see the wild horse in the photo below?
Yep, up on the ridge. Wish I had a big giant lens that day because he or she was posing in such a classic “I thought that only happened in Disney movies” way. We saw several herds when we were in the TR National Park, and it was kind of exciting.
I hope you all have a great weekend, and please keep our fire situation in your prayers – including the following specific requests:
1. thanksgiving that so far we are safe and appear to be out of the path of the fire;
2. safety for the fire fighters all over this area and especially Mike the helicopter pilot;
3. peace of mind for those who have been evacuated;
4. comfort for those who have lost their homes in the Pine Creek fire;
5. protection for the camp and those who run it as they deal with the imminent threat to their property and homes; and
6. provision of rain even though it’s not an optimistic weather forecast at this time.