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The Madera Tribune

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California is on fire, burning with a vengeance

August 4, 2018

The Golden State of Cali is all ablaze. Oh, if that science were advanced enough to manufacture rain clouds and send a storm to aide CalFire with its work. One of my classmates, Doug Elliot — for some reason nicknamed Possum — has worked for CalFire forever. I say a prayer for him and his colleagues every night. According to ABC News, as of Wednesday, more than 100,000 acres have burned and the fires were less than 23 percent contained.


Years of drought have killed and dried so many of our trees. They are like tinder when the wildfires come sweeping through, and the wind hasn’t helped the men and women battling these blazes. I have always thought of living in the mountains would be lovely. Right now, I am very glad to live in the valley away from the fires.


A very dear friend lost the garage and storage shed of her house last week to fire. It is likely someone deliberately set the fire just to watch the flames. If I caught someone setting a fire to my property, I am not sure how I would respond. My guess is with violence.


My childhood home on Martin Street across from Desmond and Nishimoto schools burned many years ago when someone set a fire on Avenue 17. The wooden structure didn’t stand a chance. Once, Fred and I were burning tumbleweeds at our place in Dixieland and the flames got out of control. We put our dogs in the car and called the fire department.


Several neighbors brought shovels and helped to contain the fire. I asked one of them how they knew when the fire got out of hand. He said when he saw Fred’s red shirt begin running in the field he knew it was getting away from us. You don’t run when things are going well. The fire burned through the water hose. It was a terrifying experience.


Presently, the outside air is heavy and smoky, causing distress for people with respiratory problems. The heat index isn’t helping the firefighters either.


I so admire the men and women who put their lives in danger to help people they don’t know. First responders such as police officers, fire personnel, and emergency medical technicians are heroes who put their lives in jeopardy every day.


Had the dead trees been harvested, there would be a lot less fuel for these wildfires. Environmental groups put up legal roadblocks to prevent the taking out of the dead trees. I hope the lawyers are happy now that the state is on fire. I fear it is going to be another couple of weeks before the fires are out.


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I hope our readers enjoyed our recent Salute to Ag section. The Madera fair is approaching and just 10 days remain to commit to entering a project in one of the many categories. In the early 1990s, I entered my Aunt Bonnie’s carrot cake. I took a blue ribbon and got a $3 check I never cashed. In my family, instead of cream cheese frosting, we used coconut pecan like that for German chocolate cake. I never knew any other icing to be used.


Most recently, I grew a patch of pumpkins for entry. I have a set of Halloween Snoopy head and paws. I attached them to the largest pumpkin I had and won a second place ribbon. Strut your stuff and enter something in the fair.


Have a good weekend.


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Readers, may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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