Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Picture, One Moment

Yet another aspect of this horrible fire is the plight of the animals.  Both domestic and wild, its been a survival game for them.  Many did not and we now see buzzards flying low, a sign that there is death in the fields and woods.

Many people were able to get their pets out in time, many were not as fortunate.  So many stories of cats and dogs dying in the houses that burned, their owners away from home and unable to reach them in time.

On the land surrounding downtown are many  farms and ranches.  Cattle, horses and other livestock have had a home very close to My Town and their owners had struggled all summer long, enduring the drought to keep them fed and watered. When the fire appeared last Saturday and people immediately knew this was going to be bad, most had time to get horses and livestock moved and secured.  Unfortunately that was not always the case.  The same with pets that couldn't be caught by owners.  Frightened by the smoke and fire, they did what instinct told them to do, they ran.

People are now finding lost dogs and cats, cattle are roaming as are horses.  With no time to secure them, they were released from fences and allowed to flee the fire as best they could.

I looked through a friend's FB pictures from yesterday and found one that just said it all.  It speaks to many things. The fire, the fear, the displacement, the desperation, the separation, the kindness, the compassion and the single moment of thousands of moments that make up the memories of this fire.

To this officer, I say thank you for taking a moment to just be there with this horse (might be a donkey).  Lost, confused, injured, yet alive.  Somehow alive.  Somehow through that roaring fire and thick smoke, this animal managed to live.  It just looks so tired and lost.  Just like so many of the people of My Town.  The fire affected everyone and everything.

This morning, Day 4, the smoke had settled again on the downtown area.  I still hear helicopters and planes but reports from the air support team indicate that things are looking much much better.  We desperately need much much better.

Do we dare to exhale?

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