*Fire is bad in the summer in a semi-arid desert.
I’ve been involved in exactly two wheat fires in my life. Technically one, since the second fire was a flare-up of the first two days later. But we can talk about that another day.
Fires start on a regular basis during harvest in our area. Given oxygen (e.g. my previous post) grassland and brush fires burn incredibly hot and fast. In the fields mechanical failures occur, bearings go out, or machines can just “get hot”. Farmers do everything they can to prepare for the unpredictable. Water trucks are equipped and readied right along with all of the combines, tractors, and trucks. A close eye is placed on hydraulic oil, zerks are greased, and filters are changed with regularity and care.
For those that aren’t involved in harvest, fires can spark from the highway. Overheated cars or accidents spark fires. Even the trains can and have thrown sparks that take off. On windy hot days, I find myself sniffing the air for the smell of smoke seeking the horizon for ominous dark plumes. Smelling smoke on a breezy 90+ degree day sends a chill down my spine.
These are all mechanical failures or accidents. That happens. I get that. But several local fires have begun recently because people were doing something stupid. More specifically people were shooting guns in dry grasslands on hot windy days and sparked fires because of ricochets against rocks. Yeah. That happens.
So below, I have created a little flow chart to determine if it’s a good day to shoot a gun: