Today was the third anniversary of when Ashland, Kansas was evacuated due to the Starbuck Fire.
The fire eventually covered more than half of Clark County. Although Ashland is right in the middle of the fire area it did not burn. I believe this to be a combination of the geography around the town itself and the direction the fire was moving. If the fire had been moving in a different direction the town would have been in grave danger.
I had been in Missouri for my younger sister’s wedding when the fires started. I fley home to California on a late flight and as I flew over Kansas I could see the many wildfires from the windows of the plane. I was saddened knowing that people I knew were trying to preserved their ranches and homes.
This screen clip from KWCH12 shows close family friends who lost their home in Englewood, Kansas. The small town of Englewood, which has less than 100 residents, was hit very hard with 12 homes being destroyed.
While flying to Singapore I had been wondering about the Ediger family and was saddened when I saw this news report. Their son, who was one of my best friends in school, also lost his house. Unfortunately it was not long after that he had heart trouble and passed away.
See: Zane Grey Memories
Some of my other High School classmates also lost cattle and homes. It was a very stressful time for all of them.
I have seen several posts on Facebook today from people remembering what they went through and how the area has been recovering. It is hard for me to believe that it has been three years since the fires.
Hank the Cowdog: The Case of the Monster Fire by John R. Erickson was about a fire in the Texas Panhandle from the same time frame. This book was really good as Erickson wrote from experience as his own home and ranch were burned in the fire.
Lots of memories tonight.