For almost the whole of last week, the list of chores to complete was so long, we didn't even bother to write it down. We just ran from one thing to the next, be it bed-changing for fire fighters, washing sheets and towels, thinking about what to pack if we were to have to evacuate--and then of course, actually having to do that very thing---you get the idea. Until Thursday afternoon, it was go go go, and with an incredible sense of urgency. Yesterday, our first day in town after evacuation, we tried to take care of the basics, make the phone calls, and get our thoughts together. Now, after a better night of sleep, here I am with energy and not a lot to do.
When the fire first started, it made a major run to Round Lake on Saturday, and then on Sunday, it roared its way up to the end of the Trail. For the next couple of days, it calmed down some, but then did a run back through the Seagull--Sag area. By Wednesday, the decision was made to do the burn-out procedure on Magnetic and west of Gunflint. This was a move intended to provide a large area with reduced fuels, as the wind was predicted to be back up, and coming from the northwest on Thursday. We know that it was not an easy decision to make, to plan and execute a controlled burn like that. But we also know that it was the best thing to do in the face of as wild a fire as this one is. As I mentioned before, we have complete trust in these people, as they are THE BEST.
On Thursday, we nervously watched the lake, the sky, and what the wind was up to. Our good friend Mark was up, with his son Nathan, and along with Paul, they were doing their best to install some sprinkler heads in a few strategic places around the property. These are more of the good people that I spoke of yesterday---Mark and Nathan finally left just before we did, so in a sense, they are evacuees, too.
The worst thing about Thursday was that the fire went dancing with the wind, and roared down the Canadian side of the Granite River. That brought it to Gunflint Lake. The things that I saw that afternoon are just too horrible to write about now, knowing what we do about the losses. It just isn't possible.
Yesterday and today have both been quieter days on the fire, giving the fire fighters opportunities to once again work toward the upper hand against Mother Nature. But it also means that another roar could be just ahead. Once again, bad winds are predicted for tomorrow, this time from the southeast. Another burn-out operation is planned for today, again to try to take away potential fuels from the fire in the direction that it could run if the winds come as predicted. There is no rest against this thing.
We are doing fine, camped out here as we are. Paul and Addie are spending time with Cassidy today, after shouldering the burden of the incredible amounts of work placed on them. Greg and Robert are actually up the Trail today. They were asked to assist with a food delivery to Tuscarora with Sue Ahrendt. With well over five hundred people working and living on the trail, the resorts and outfitters that are not in vulnerable areas are busy helping to feed and house the fire fighters.
I'm fine, too, most grateful to be free of crutches as we did all the recent work. I just got off of them on the Thursday before the fire started. But what I really want to know is, Who gave me the weekend off?? And what the heck am I supposed to do with it?!