A week or so ago Tom took this picture while he was filling this old water truck. He was filling it in anticipation of hauling it to the fire you can see (over the hood) in the background. It doesn't look like much from here because it was a ways off. Mom and I were on our way home from town and watching the smoke billow ominously as we got closer to home. When we got home we found out my dad had already headed over to fight it with his spray truck.
The fire had started from a hot bearing in a baler. The dry conditions meant it spread quickly. Fortunately it wasn't a windy day or it could have been much worse. Farmers in the area always keep an eye out for smoke and leave whatever they are doing to come to the rescue. No one wants to lose equipment, or worse, a full crop! Our spray truck (used for spraying fertilizer and weed chemicals) is also equipped with a fire hose, and we keep it handy whenever we work in the fields. My dad joined many other farmers, the city fire trucks, and even a helicopter in fighting this fire. It blazed about 1000 acres before they got it under control. It was the 2nd significant farm fire in our area this summer.
A couple of years ago, we returned from a bible study in town to find out a fire had started from a lightning strike in one of our fields only about a mile from our house. Several neighbors came to fight it and were of course trying to find out where we were. Fortunately rain followed close behind and helped put it out quickly before it burned any unharvested crops. We were lucky. We are also lucky to have great neighbors who look out for each other!