Since the fire has moved a considerable distance from my house at this time, and would have to burn backwards over a considerable amount of already burned timber, I figured that even with the forecast of strong South winds for this morning I was safe to go back to work last night. I did take a drive yesterday though and snap a few more pics of the fire area during the daylight. Here's what I managed to get.
A huge plume of smoke rises from the main fire. It sort of looks like a nuclear mushroom cloud. This picture was taken from Highway 87, just a couple miles from the latest area to be evacuated.
A stripe of red fire retardant marks the tops of these two hills just south of the area where the fire jumped I90. Luckily, most of the retardant hit it's mark exactly, the crews were really on the ball on this side of the fire. When we surveyed this area in the dark Tuesday night, it looked like the fire had progressed much farther to the East, past the Interstate. In the daylight however, it was quite obvious that they managed to stop the fire in its tracks shortly after it crossed the highway. Way to go fire bombers!
This picture was taken from the top of the hill on Johnson Lane, next to the big water tank. If you remember the picture that I took from here Tuesday night, this was the main part of the fire at that time. The fire has moved quite a ways to the South now, and this area is just a smoldering mess of hot spots. Helicopters toting water buckets were beating the hell out of it as I took this picture, so hopefully they've got it cooled off by now.
Other than that, not much new to report except for the fact that we seem to have jumped the shark once again. Some weren't so lucky, and many were far luckier considering how much closer the fire came to their houses than ours.
Most of all, we'd like to extend an enormous THANK YOU to all of the firefighters, pilots, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Department, Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative, NorthWestern Energy, and anyone else that has helped with the efforts fighting this fire, protecting the residents, and maintaining order. I'm sure that I speak for all the residents of Lockwood when I say that your efforts are not unappreciated. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those who's homes are still in the path of the fire, and all of those waiting to return to their homes. May they be exactly as you left them when you return.