We had a very scary close call with fire on our homestead. In all honesty, we were mere minutes away from losing everything we have besides our vehicles and the clothes on our backs.
This sort of thing takes a while to process. You go through the initial shock, then digesting the event, followed by a surreal numbness to the whole thing. eventually you settle into the reality of it.
We are SO thankful that the Lord used our neighbor to save our home and animals. People like him who are willing to take risks to lend a helping hand are priceless.
I suppose I should start from the beginning…..
The Neighbor’s Fire Almost Burned
Our Farm Down
It was a normal Monday (if a Monday can be normal) in December. I was in town at my parent’s house and my mom and I were working on some sewing projects. We had been having a good day and getting a lot accomplished.
Derek was working about 30 minutes outside of town. He had ridden with his co-worker so his truck was parked in town.
He received a call at about 3:00 pm from one of our neighbors. He informed him that our pastures were all on fire because the neighbor behind us lost control of a fire and he was going to let our animals loose, we needed to get home asap and then hung up.
Derek called me immediately. I took off in the van with Jack and the baby to drive out to get Derek. My parents kept the rest of the farm kids. After I picked him up, I took him to his truck and we drove home.
We had no idea if our house was still standing or if our livestock was ok or if they were on the loose. We just didn’t know what to expect at all. Derek got a text from the neighbor who saved our place (not the one who called him) to let him know that our place was ok and he would talk to him later after he rested.
We were about 5 minutes from home when he got that text. We still didn’t know about the animals but we knew our house was ok. It had been over an hour since the initial call so getting any news was a relief, good news was even better!
Whe we pulled up, we saw the amount of damage that the fire had caused. About 75% of our pasture was gone. When you only have 2 1/2 acres and about 1/2 an acre is yard and garden, that’s a huge loss.
Meeps, the buck we are borrowing was standing in grass that was completely charred. Over 2/3 of his pasture had burned. Thank God he was ok!
The fire had been on all sides of our house. The properties on both sides and behind us are completely burned. The fire even jumped the road and burned part of the pasture across the road from us.
We have a wood pile (supposed to be a stack) behind our chicken coop and the fire was literally touching it. It is only by the grace of God that our coop didn’t burn to the ground.
The neighbor across the road saw the fire and immediately sprang into action. He jumped on his tractor and came right over to try to put the fire out. The people who started the fire were in so much shock that they didn’t even call the fire department yet.
He had all of our water hoses going and was driving his tractor from place to place using the bucket to put the fires out. The fire department eventually came and stopped the fire behind us from burning the house of that neighbor and put out a fire in Meep’s field.
As for the neighbor who called Derek and said he was letting our animals go, he was actually riding around on a golf cart watching the whole thing. Thankfully, he didn’t mess with our livestock at all.
Needless to say, the one neighbor who saved it all was exhausted from all of the work but he never stopped or hesitated. We appreciate him so much!
After we got home, the man who accidentally started the fire came straight to us to apologize and offered to buy hay to get us through until spring. He just bought the place and we had never even met him before. He’s a man in his 70’s and was very shaken up by the whole thing. We felt bad for him and we accepted his apology and offer.
Moral of this story is 1- Be VERY careful when burning anything. 2- Don’t take anyone, any day or anything for granted, everything could be gone in an instant. 3- Be grateful for those who are willing to take risks and be a hero.
The irony of it all is that I just finished writing my ebook on pasture based farming and now I don’t have pasture.
We are so thankful that the situation wasn’t worse and that our family, livestock, and home are ok. That’s what really matters. The grass will re grow and the burn will actually improve it. Needless to say, we are looking forward to spring when things are green again.
P.S. Also, I’ll be glad when the outside doesn’t smell like charred marshmallows.
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