Our Island is on the Southern Border of the high risk wild fire area of Northern California. Luckily it is not exceptionally dry yet this year we have the mild temperatures and late rain to thank for that. As I look across the pasture across the river there remain wide swaths of green a sure sign the soil is soggy or there is standing water.
Fifteen miles distant of that is Mount Diablo’s peak. Between there and our house are several medium size cities that line the main river. None sponsored fourth of July fireworks, quite the contrary they were all declared to be illegal; the penalty is a big fine and possible jail time.
No matter the time of year a few days of each month fire works are set off from inside one of the cities between here and the Diablo Range. This year the displays were much more robust, they began in May continuing every night until the encore on Independence day. Lining this edge of the cities limits were between 50 and 100 places firing the Red Roses high into the air. I’ve never been much of a fireworks launching type of person, I enjoy watching them for sure not so much of one to light them. Now these events were not just merely one offs, they all lasted for over 45 minutes, most long into the night and were still flaring into the sky when I retired at 11 pm. In a way I’m fortunate; I am unable to hear them. Last night was July 5th there were minimal displays which I would define as being spotty, the blasting may be over.
On the 5th Mrs. Lebec and I were out doors when she commented on the haze that was noticeable along the Diablo Range stating that she thought it was wild fire smoke. We searched all of our go to places on the internet, there were a few with a big one in Arizona and a few smaller in California. None were big enough to create the amount of smoke that appeared in the sky yesterday morning. The haze was still there this morning (July 6th, my birthday by the way.) it looked like smoke. While reading the local newspaper I read an article with a headline pertaining to the Bay Area’s smoke shroud. It stated all of the smoke is from fireworks, I found it to be nearly impossible to believe. Apparently there were that many fire works bombs being detonated. It’s no wonder people are up in arms screaming for something to be done about it.
It was windy as it usually is during June through August into September, the prevailing is from the NW. If a fire starts on that end of the Island there is a great potential of it turning wildly out of control. The fire in Paradise two years ago would have ripped across our Island in less than 15 minutes, it was traveling 60 miles per hour, our Island is seven miles across. With no fire protection a normal house fire normally destroys two homes damaging a third. In a 30-40 mile per hour wind once they start it’s difficult to predict what will happen.
There is a silver lining behind each cloud, dark or otherwise, and that is one type of explosion is harmless. A neighbor has a signal gun, which is a small cannon charged with gunpowder. They are relatively safe but like any thing else it has it’s dangers and may be disastrous if some one were to step in front of it upon discharge. One other way is if it is loaded with a projectile, an orange, Potato, or something more substantial could prove to be a real problem. It’s set up on the third level deck directed over the river, never is a projectile loaded making it a safe alternative to the fire carrying big Red Roses. I may purchase a cannon, some use shotgun blanks making them much neater and easier to deal with.
Lets all continue to wear our masks and practice safe distancing of one Alligators length apart. That’s a mature Alligator none of this baby 2 foot long stuff, when we all take into account we may be someones hero by keeping them safe the self quarantine will begin to work.
I am ecstatic to mention my middle daughter has been declared Cancer Free both she and I are now survivors.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance