Monday, September 12, 2011

Fires in Texas

Tropical Storm Lee, which came around on Labor Day weekend, knocked down our daily highs and lows by ten degrees. We enjoyed several days with highs in the low 90s. (Ahhh! Lovely!!)

Star sunbathes in the most grotesque poses. I'm always a little worried that my neighbors will freak out and call animal control about a mutilated dog corpse they saw in my backyard.

If I see a neighbor come outside, I make a big show of getting Star on her feet. ("Star! Come over here, you happy, healthy, totally alive dog!")
Sunbathing in the shade... in a really weird way.
But the weather was quite enjoyable. And then the wildfires started breaking out.

Mind you, we're no stranger to grass fires and brush fires. I've occasionally joined the community in impromptu fire-stomping on the side of the highway while waiting for fire trucks.

But it's pretty rare for fires to burn out of control in our area. We've had an unlucky combination of high winds (from Lee) and extreme drought.

One of many amazing photos from KXAN
We've been very fortunate that few human lives have been lost to these fires. The situation for many pets and livestock has not been good. Bastrop is a rural area, and folks tend to keep a lot of animals. Not just cats and dogs, but also horses, donkeys, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. As they evacuated, people took their pets with them whenever possible, but many animals still didn't make it out.

Some people were not home when the fires started and were left with anguished knowledge that they couldn't go back to their homes for their trapped pets. This event served as a strong reminder for me, that not everyone will be home during an evacuation to save their pets, so it's up to neighbors to help save those pets, if they have the time and ability. It's a good idea to become familiar with neighbors' pets (how many, what kind, and where they're kept) before there's a disaster, in case there's an opportunity to help those pets.

Luckily, the animal community around here is strong, organized, and willing. They've done an amazing job with rescue efforts and communication. Several hundred pets have been rescued, and I hope they will continue to find animal survivors now that residents are being allowed back into these burned areas.


Kari in Vegas said...

Star just wants to make sure she has an all over tan


Daisy Dog said...

Its heartbreaking. I think someone would have to physically restrain me if I wasn't home when the evacuation order was put on, I would go and get my babies.

SabertoothLioness said...

As a Californian I'm use to hearing about wildfire but have never been in one thank God Almighty! Due to my dad'd job we travel around a lot so we're rarely in California but I still freak out when I hear about fires. We went through Texas not to long ago and saw some of the drought damage. It's sad to see the horse ranches that were green now brown. Hopefully things will improve before any more damage or deaths occure.