Wednesday, August 5, 2015

8-3 to 8-4-2015 Brush fire in Hopkins

Four of us met a friend for dinner, and he told us that there was a fire at the curve in the road in Hopkins.  So, after dinner we
drove to it to see what was happening.  About one city block of uncleared bush was on fire in pockets.  It seemed to flare up
and die down repeatedly.  We drove to the nearest residences to warn them and encountered another person doing the same.
 Nobody seemed very worried, though, which puzzled us.  There is no fire department in Hopkins, and there are no fire
hydrants, but nobody appeared to be doing anything to fight the fire.  We learned later that the Dangriga fire department was
called at least four times, but they never came to help.

This was only one small section of the fire.  (Note the sign engulfed in flames.)

We went back home to see if we could see the fire from the dock.  At first we saw nothing, but then we saw big fireballs like
this one.  It made us wonder if the fire had reached a house and exploded their propane tank or something.

After seeing this we (Eric and Cara) drove back to the fire, but we passed a privately owned water truck going the other
direction, and it appears that he had helped put out this fire.  That's the second time he's done that!  (Well, it wasn't
completely out - there were still a few glowing embers on the ground, but no flames.)

The next morning several of us went into town for breakfast (which didn't happen because we forgot the restaurant is closed
on Tuesdays), for groceries, and to see the destruction.  To our amazement, it was basically just the palmettos that burned,
and the area did not look nearly as devastated as we expected.  Perhaps everyone else already knew this, and that's why
they weren't worried the night before.

Remember the sign engulfed in flames the night before?  Here it is the next morning, with almost no sign of damage!

We were amazed to see just small pockets of land (with palmettos) were completely burned, but the surrounding green trees
and bushes were untouched.

Here you can see a telephone pole that burned in half and fell.  Thankfully this pole only held a tension line.

Directly across the road from the downed line was this main pole.  We noticed the top was on
fire and likely to burn through also, so we stopped and called the electric company and they
dispatched a truck.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture before it fell, so I only have "after" shots when the top lines
had already fallen onto the lower lines.

On our way back home we noticed that that some embers must have been blown across the road because a new lot had
mostly burned and was spreading.

We drove around the area and were happy to see that people were out wetting their properties to keep them from burning.

We returned home and - surprise - there was no power!  We kind of figured that after seeing the main power line fall.  So,
what do you do when you have no power or Internet?  You go out to lunch at a resort where they probably have a generator...

...and, you drink.  In fact, while we were at lunch a storm came through, so we drank while we
waited for it to clear up.  It was a strong 10 minute storm, blowing an umbrella into the pool
and sending cushions flying.  Thankfully, it also finally put out the fire in the village!

We went back home to check on the status of power (still out) and to let the dogs out.

We (Eric and Cara) were dog-sitting Snowy, the white dog on the left.  That's Chef Rob and Corrie's dog, and she and Tango
had become best buds during that time.  They also liked racing on the dock, but below is a video of them playing in the water.

Okay...dogs taken care of...power still out...guess it's time for drinks at the Lucky Lobster!
This is a delicious Coconut Colada.  The drink itself is fabulous, plus you can eat the coconut
meat inside after you finish your drink!

One of the signs on the wall at the Lucky Lobster - hilarious!  (Just give me the coconut water
for a hangover, please.  It really does help.)
Some friends joined us at the Lucky Lobster, and the power finally came back on!  So, we ordered food to take home for dinner, invited our friends back to the house, and hung out at our backyard bar.

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