ranuel: (Reporter Kermit)
The fire is officially over as of June 6th. The final total was 600,000 acres of South Georgia and North Florida burned. Of course this didn't make the headlines so I only found out today when I heard the really good news that the rescued bears are well and were released today.

The only thing I could find online was this teaser from one of the TV News programs.


The slide show has some good shots though.

In a bit of irony I got woke up by my smoke alarm this weekend when my neighbors decided to ignore the burn ban and burn leaves. Apparently the wind was just right and enough was sucked in by the AC, which is less then 3 feet from the smoke detector, to set it off for a minute.

When the smoke was so bad outside I had to wear a face mask it never set off the alarm. Cooking a hamburger without the exhaust fan running will, the neighbors being idiots will, but smoke so thick it looked like fog didn't.
ranuel: (Default)
Mama & Baby were released from the Vet school and moved to a wildlife rehab center. Plans are to release them back into the wild in about a month.

Article about the capture.

Pictures and article about their current condition.

ranuel: (Default)
As of yesterday evening the fire was 90% contained! We got a nice long shower Thursday night that helped raise the humidity levels even though it wasn't anywhere near enough rain to make a difference to our drought. Despite wind gusts of up to 50 mph in Jacksonville that toppled trees the wind here near the fire stayed in the 10 - 15 MPH range so we didn't see any more big jumps. Since then there has been almost no wind to speak of.

They have the fire completely surrounded by fire breaks but apparently they don't count it as contained until the fire actually reaches a fire break and fails to jump it. Since the calm weather is expected to hold for the next several days and the fire planes have been at it pretty steady all weekend it doesn't look likely to make a break for it.

The smoke was worse than ever yesterday but then a fire always gets a lot smokier before it dies out so that wasn't a bad sign.

I'll post about this one more time when the crisis is officially over but unless things go bad I'll be back to movie reviews, interesting links, and grumbling about writers who don't do their research.

Government types are saying that Bugaboo was the biggest fire in Florida history. 
ranuel: (Default)
The improved visibility meant they could get the tanker planes off the ground for the first time in a few days and by the end of the day they had the fire 50% contained. So far there has only been one fireman injured, a broken leg, and no homes lost, only hunting camps.

However, the winds picked up during the day and the fire continues to head towards White Springs on one edge. It made a three-quarter mile jump at one point so it's possible it could jump the interstates if it came this way. I'm not as safe as I thought.

The animals are the ones really suffering. The area that's burning is home to black bears, panthers, and the usual assortment of deer, rabbits, etc. It's nesting season and not only are the nests being lost but birds are dying outside the fire area from smoke inhalation.

Yesterday they had a picture in the paper of a bear cub who was rescued from a tree. His mother was at the base of it with third degree burns on her paws. They think she must have carried him across hot embers to safety. They are being treated at the UF vet school.
ranuel: (Default)
We actually got about 20 minutes of light rain last night and it cleared most of the smoke away. The prevailing winds today weren't toward me so more didn't come drifting in and by this afternoon it was pretty normal out.

Unfortunately the winds also pushed the fire, although not closer towards me, and new areas had to be evacuated. The fire is still only 30% contained and has consumed over 300 square miles. In the way now is the city of White Springs which has many Victorian houses left over from when it was a health resort. It is also home to the Stephen Foster Center which has a beautiful carillon tower. It is the home of the annual Florida Folk Festival which is held every Memorial Day weekend. Let's hope the wind shifts again or they contain that edge of the fire. It's not in immediate danger but I'm middling worried about it.

The animal shelter is so overwhelmed with evacuated pets that they are asking for donations of food but the human shelters are underutilized since most people are going to stay with family or friends instead of deal with the conditions at a shelter.
ranuel: (Default)
The sky has a weird yellow glow in the afternoons similar to what you get when a hurricane is lurking nearby. The recommendation today is to wear a mask if you're spending any real time outside.


ranuel: (Default)

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