Niles, Lillie and I were coming in from seeing a movie (Ice Age 3) and as we topped a hill, the smoke made us gasp. A HUGE column of white smoke. My first thought was that Lillie's school was on fire (it's in our neighborhood). As we got closer we realized the school wasn't on fire, but, the fire wasn't far from it. We pulled over and I called 911. The fire department was on its way.
It was very exciting. Not in the 'ooooh something bad's gonna happen' but in the 'wow the energy that fire brings gives me goosebumps'. Watching fully green cedar trees being engulfed by fire and rendered charcoal sticks within seconds reminded me how fragile life really is.
This photo shows when the fire jumped the road and began burning Camp Bullis.
This photo was used on one of the local TV station's online homepage.
This is the aftermath.
The fire eventually came within 1/2 block of the elementary school and burned close to 200 acres. It was said to have been started by the spark from a welder. The drought has gotten so bad--most grasses and a lot of understory trees have died. Any kind of energy can start a fire.
You can still smell smoke when you drive by, now a week later.