Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Dangerous and Serious Trouble with a Lesson.
Upon getting off work Monday morning at 7:00 a.m., I went home then headed out to Fort Payne, Alabama to take care of some business then drove back home. All together I ended up being up for 31 hours. 12 hours of work, 2 1/2 hours before work just getting ready for work, the drive to Fort Payne and back with the business involvement was 12 1/2 hours then another 4 hours of work at home. After 31 hours of being up I finally gave in to the sleep but then Tuesday morning, I got up again at 7:00 a.m., had my coffee, drove to Crossville to help my daughter ( who just moved in with us after 126 days in jail ) try to find a job then stopped at the TWRA ( Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency ) to inquire about information on feral hog hunting, back home, got the wife and took her to Sparta to eat lunch and get groceries, back home and that's when things really got exciting and dangerous. I got a wild hair and decided because it was a beautiful day and the wind, I thought wasn't blowing real bad, so I lit a small fire in my garden spot to burn off the grass and weeds. Boy was that a mistake and a half. Soon as I lit the fire the wind gusted, the fire spread quickly and I was by myself trying to beat it out with only a leave rake. I ran to the house, grabbed my water hose which was to short, got the wife outside and told her to get help then returned to beating the fire with the leave rake. I beat the fire until I just couldn't beat it any more and was out of breath, shaking and coughing from the smoke. Finally help arrived, the water hose was extended with a second hose and then the Volunteer Fire Department, an ambulance and the White County Sheriffs Department arrived just in time to prevent the fire from catching my neighbors house on fire. After an hour and a half, the fire was out and then the sheriffs department stepped in and told me he was supposed to write me a citation and could even take me and put me in jail for 3 years. Finally after 30 minutes of talking to the deputy sheriff, it was decided by the officer that he wouldn't give me the citation or take me to jail ( lucky me ) but he was going to notify the U.S. Forestry Division and any complaints they received about the fire damage would put me in jail. Good thing I'm on good terms with my neighbor and she wasn't too upset about the fire damage. I had a few hot spots re-lite which I was able to put out quickly by myself and had a tree which was burning on the inside which I cut down and managed to get put out then continued to watch the burnt area till 8:00 p.m. for hot spots and re-lites. Fortunately there was no buildings lost,just underbrush. The good thing is my garden spot is now ready to turn and plant just as soon as it drys out but the bad news is it's supposed to rain here so I guess it will still be awhile before I can plant my garden. The lesson learned here was to get a burn permit from the U.S. Forestry Division and make sure you have plenty of help on hand when you burn and not on a windy day.