Literally and figuratively.
You see, my 8 y.o. son started a fire in the woods the other day. In 40 mph winds. It was terrrifying.
Lately, Jason has been going back behind the barn, to the field, and fishing in the pond. I had given him a new pair of boots when he got home from school. He put them on an told me he was going out back. I assumed to fish. I assumed wrong.
He came in shortly after, pale and visibly shaking, screaming about a fire behind the barn. He told me he set a fire and it got away from him. I freaked. Completely. It was windy, there were fire alerts every where- on the news, the local weather channel. And my child has just told me the woods are on fire.
The woods, behind the barn. My barn that would burn like the dry tinder it is. Where the ponies are and my chickens live.
The woods, surrounded by long dried grass from the summer. Surrounded by pines, pines that will explode in the fire.
dry as dry can be
Oh my holy hell, what has just happened?!? What has he done?
This is the orchard, the right of where the fire was. You can see how dry it is.
I grabbed the phone and ran like hell. I had no idea where the fire actually was. I ran through the barn, to see the woods about 100 yards away on fire. I called 911, and then ran to the driveway to wait for the fire trucks. I was petrified, thinking the fire would take off in the wind. That acres and acres would burn. I called my neighbor, who's husband is a firefighter, and told her to watch the woods, they were on fire. She would be trapped if they burned. She told me she just heard the call come over the scanner. "It's US" I told her. "Jason set the woods on fire."
This is the woods- the fire burned from the bottom left near the target, to about halfway up. It stayed on the ground, but it snowed yesterday, so you can't see much.
I don't know how long it took, it seemed like forever. But the firehouse is close by. Lots of people showed up. Everyone was kind. The fire was on a small hill in the woods. The Chief told me fire likes to burn up a hill, but the winds were blowing down the hill. Surprisingly, none of the trees caught fire. The fire burned a good bit of leaves and underbrush, but it never really took off. We had had a little but of rain a few days before. That, and with the warm weather, things had started to green up a little. I think that slowed the fire down.
Jason was shaken to the core. So was I. I still am. I am having trouble dealing with this. I am crying alot. Overwhelmed. My child stole matches from the house and deliberately set a fire. He was playing "campfire" back in his fort. I know all kids do this. The guys at work chuckled about it- they said they had set fires too when they were young.
It could have gone so wrong. Could have, but didn't. My brave child came and told me, rather than hide the fact that the woods were on fire. I have that to be thankful for. I am grateful with every fiber of my being that he wasn't burned, that his clothes didn't catch fire. God, thank you. Thank you.
We will have to do a Juvenile Fire Prevention program. His name will go in a file, kept on record. Hopefully this is the end of it.