Starbuck Fire Anniversary

Today was the third anniversary of when Ashland, Kansas was evacuated due to the Starbuck Fire.

Clark County Kansas, Wildfires, Ranching Country, Satelitte pic, hot spotsI graduated from High School in Ashland, Kansas, so knew many people who were affected by the fires.

Starbuck Fire, Ashland, Englewood, Kansas WildfiresThe 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.

Firebreak, Tractor, Western Kansas FiresI 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.

Starbuck Fire, Kansas wildfires, Englewood, Houses destroyedI was home for only a short time before I flew on to Singapore to teach a course. I had to continue following the news from afar.

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.

Grassfire, wildfire, Western Kansas WildfiresI 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.

The Case of the Monster Fire, John R. Erickson, Hank the Cowdog, BooksHank 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.

See: The Case of the Monster Fire

Lots of memories tonight.

Steven

 

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