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Global Skywatch

Darby Volunteer Fire Department – thank you


By happenstance I met two of the local firefighters in my yard last winter. They informed me that were I to request it, Darby VFD would send trucks and crews to monitor my slash piles during their more dangerous phases of burning down.

I have been working over the last two years at reducing the fire hazards to our homestead and had developed four piles of brush and wood that were far too fuel-rich to burn without crews exactly like theirs. I made the call. They scheduled a “TRAINING” for yesterday evening.

All of their trucks and many of their firefighters were on hand to keep the fire contained and as safe as possible.

I am incredibly grateful.

They placed a floating pump in the creek and wetted rings around the fires before I lit them.

The flames roaring high in the air and intense heat radiating fifty, sixty feet away makes a big impression. I am so glad I was not facing that by myself with a garden hose and shovel. It would have been disasterous.

A dilapidated tar-paper and wood shed was unfortunately placed close to both fire number one and my shop full of treasures. Had they not kept it wet throughout the burn, it would have burst into flames, taking the barn with it.

From the DVFD perspective, it is a lot more fun and rewarding to help their community avoid emergency services than to provide them. Contrast the relaxed, friendly mood we shared yesterday with the trauma, urgency and heartbreak had I tried the burn solo, lost control, and called them in to salvage what they could.

Throughtout the planning and execution, the chiefs kept one eye on my fire situation and one on possible emergency calls requiring immediate reallocation of resources. We threw my garden hose into the little tanker to keep it replenished in case of an urgent callout.

I have always been somewhat grateful and respectful of the volunteer fire departments where I lived, but yesterday all of that went up in many ways.