The fires came over our ridge like an ocean wave with intense undertow, sucking back and drawing a breath from the smokey sky creating an enormous swell along the entire length of Little Wolf Ridge, As the fire crested more than 100 feet above Chimney Butte, “I could feel the heat of the fire burn on my face” Jerry said, as he watched in awe from the deck of the house. Flames more than a half mile away crashed down over the ridge spilling into our canyons and ravines.
We like so many others could not understand the movement of this fire. It not only made its weather, but had a mind of its own. Structures and land was left unmarred when adjacent trees, grassland and property had been burned to such an extent that the ground lay barren and sterile. And then it was over. The sea of fire calmed, burning slowly and methodically through the night across eastern ridge.
Left behind in its wake was a forest and people in shock. Already devastated by the seasons’ unusual warm weather and drought, and now stressed from the Area Complex 23 fires that had crippled the forest burning more than 247 square miles