Grass Fires

The rain we had last night and also this morning was more than welcome, not in the least because with that rain the danger of grassfires, which had been huge during the last few weeks, has now lessened considerably. Let’s hope that the showers will continue. I must admit, I am afraid, to a certain extent, of these grassfires, as in the drought of even a normal south Texan summer just one spark is enough and such a fire spreads, sometimes, fanned on by the prevailing summer winds, with quite a speed. And it is not that our house would be very fire resistant. Even if, or maybe just because it’s nearly 8o years old by now: it has been built in the traditional American way, with stones outside, but a wooden frame inside, which, after all these decades, is tinder dry. And in addition to that we do have some trees close to the house from which a fire could jump onto the house, even if everything else close to the house is just (tall) grass.

And it happens so quickly: there are still enough idiots around who just throw a burning cigarette out of their car windows, or there’s piece of metal dangling from a passing car or truck and causing sparks to fly, or it may be the bottom of a broken bottle, having been thrown away carelessly, which acts like a burning-glass.

Whatever it may have been, we had a grassfire here on our property some years ago, in the summer of 2008. I still remember it vividly: it was a day before I was due to leave for Germany, and I was standing in the kitchen, when I smelled something burning. I first checked the oven, of course, but there was nothing in it and it was turned off anyway. And when I happened to look out of the kitchen window, I saw flames and smoke outside. I immediately called 911, and they told me that I was the 10th person or so to call and that the fire department – we have voluntary firefighters here – was on their way. But I went outside all the same and prepared our garden hoses, even if, with what little water pressure we have here, that little water I would have got out of it wouldn’t have helped much very likely. But I was hoping anyway that I would at least have been able to keep the roof of our house wet and prevent it from catching fire. Thank goodness the fire brigade arrived after a few minutes and I didn’t have to try and extinguish a fire but could take pictures.

And that’s what it looked like at the beginning:


Flames on the Property (1)

grass fire

Flames on the Property (2)

grass fire

Flames on the Property (3)

It’s really not far from the house. The driveway – that one on the eastern side – is in the foreground of the picture and that’s only about 45 feet from the house:

grass fire

Flames on the Property (4)

The fire brigade with their tank trucks is racing across the property. It was with all their 4 fire engines that they were here, and they had to go back to Karnes City several times to get ore water as there’s no fire hydrants hereabouts, outside the city limits:

grass fire

Fire Engines Racing across the Property

Those guys are standing at the front of the trucks/engines, hosing down the grass with whatever the hoses will deliver:

grass fire


As said, those guys were here fast enough, and the trees and bushes were probably not yet dry enough to catch fire easily, so that the fire didn’t spread beyond the grass:

grass fire

Nearly Extinsguished

But also that part of our property which cousin Mark leases for his cattle was burning, too:

grass fire

Fire in the Pasture, too

But thank goodness there are barely any trees, and the grass had already been eaten by the cattle, so that there wasn’t much to really turn it into a conflagration. But still, the scorched earth clearly shows up:

grass fire

Scorched Earth (1)

grass fire

Scorched Earth (2)

The fire has been extinguished and it only remains to watch out for spots that might flare up again.

grass fire

The Fire Is Out: Just Watching for Flare-Ups

And that would take some time in the pasture, to find all the smoldering cow patties and trample on them to extinguish them. I would never have thought of that, but then I’m only a “wannabe cowboy” or a “resident alien“, rather.  😉  Anyway, Mary and I were really relieved that all went so well.

Um diesen Beitrag in Deutsch zu lesen, hier klicken.

8 responses to “Grass Fires

  1. I went through one Texas grass fire. I thought it was fire from the underworld. Then I moved to California and I’ve experienced the fires of October 2003 and October 2007. I lost a home in both of those fires. Fires out here are totally different because of the inaccessibility of the mountains and the brush, specifically manzanitas and eucalyptus, both of which are full of flammable sap. They are bombs just waiting to go off.

    • I know, we “only” have grass fires, at least hereabouts, and you seem to always have those raging widespread wildfires.

      • Just don’t let those grass fires get into the Texas live oaks in the Texas Hill Country or over into the East Texas Piney Woods!

        • Hi Russel,
          Luckily, the Hill Country has not had any grass-/wildfires yet, and as they had more rain than we here, they might not have any this year. As to places further east: last year there was a raging wildfire around Bastrop, and that destroyed a lot. Again, with the recent rain I hope we’ll be out of the woods.
          Take care, and have a good one,

          • I was getting hourly updates on the Bastrop fire from my Texas friends. I was worried about the Little Creamery in Brenham.

            By the way, out there in Fredericksburg, the Messina Hof is owned by Aggies. Their original location, in College Station, which is still there, was a favorite of mine.

            • Hi Russel,
              Maybe I need to go to Messina Hof for a wine tasting. But actually, I prefer buying a few different bottles and tasting them at home to doing a wine-tasting at a winery.
              Take care, and have a good one,

  2. Holy Moly…na Himmel sei Dank, dass das damals so glimpflich ausgegangen ist. Ich hoffe dann weiter auf Regen für Euch 🙂

    Liebe Grüße

    • Ja, wir waren wirklich froh, als das gelöscht war. Und sind natürlich – nicht nur der geringeren Brandgefahr wegen – so unheimlich froh über den Regen von vorgestern. Und gerade regnet’s schon wieder: juhu!
      Liebe Grüße an einem “wunderbar verregneten” Sonntag in Karnes City,

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