We wear hats for all occasions: sports, fashion, sun protection, bad hair days..the list goes on. I don’t like to wear hats, but I’ve accepted them (as I’ve aged) mostly for sun protection.
The value of a hat is not realized until that hat is not on top of the head doing its job. I am adamant about wearing a hat (a ball cap) when we are burning in the woods to protect my forehead from the fire’s radiating heat and my hair from falling embers. We had a big clearing job this morning and the fire wasn’t burning long when I felt the heat on my forehead while I was tossing limbs onto the flames and that’s when I realized I had forgotten my hat. I don’t make that mistake too often and know I’ll be more conscientious on the next burn.
(I thought this would be my little slice today as I sat in the woods writing while the fire was burning down.) But…there was even more adventure to this fire.
A few hours later we saw white smoke rising up in the direction we burned and ‘knew’. We were like trained firemen responding to an alarm. I grabbed everything I’d need-cell phone, ponytail rubber band, HAT, long sleeved shirt, gloves and boots. In less than a minute we were out the door zipping across the field in the truck to the barn to get the tractor so we could get to the far back corner of the property where the fire was burning. I dressed and got ready “on the run”. The fire had spread through our woods and under the fence to the neighbor’s field. A minute or two longer and it would have swept across his dry grassy field. We were able to contain the fire and put it out before the fire truck could get back to help. The Brush Fire truck finally made it out there and sprayed some smoldering logs, but we fought that fire by ourselves.
And now I sit here absolutely spent-tired and exhausted as my body comes down off of that adrenaline surge. Who knows what out of shape muscles I will feel tomorrow from all of the raking and pounding of flames. This is a slice of day I could have done without, but I’m thankful we are safe and no harm was done.