Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Devotions from the Black Hills: Wildfires

January 3rd, 2018

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him … For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. Lamentations 3:25, 31-32

I’ve been lamenting over the loss of 52,000 acres of Custer State Park to a recent wildfire. After wildfires the land looks charred and barren – not what tourists (or I) want to look at. Local firefighters have termed the area where all the vegetation was consumed a “Nuke Zone.” A few of the larger trees are still standing, blackened by the fire. But the grasses, brush, smaller trees and downed logs on the forest floor are totally burned up. In some areas the ash is said to be several inches deep. Even the soil in Custer is scorched.

However, locals assure me all is NOT dead. Sometimes while the area is still smoking, deer wander through licking the burnt edges for minerals. The lodgepole pine cones that were tightly sealed have been opened by the high temperatures of the fire, their seeds scattered by the wind. I’m told by next Spring the area may be carpeted with wildflowers. And a couple of years from now, new brush will provide plenty of food for the Bison and Elk. The population of mice often spikes first, followed by increase in coyotes and hawks the following year, etc. Insects will move into the snags brining woodpeckers drilling holes into the wood, providing homes for other birds and squirrels. Healing and life continue even now.

Sometimes our lives can feel like a “Nuke Zone” too. Perhaps you’ve suffered the death of a loved one or gone through a divorce. Maybe you lost a job or been diagnosed with a life-changing illness. Our days can feel lifeless. Maybe you feel abandoned by God while suffering. However, as time goes by, new life peeks through the devastation. You begin to sense God’s compassion and love anew with new meaning, new joy and new understanding born out of the fire and abundance returns.

Don’t give up. Have hope in the new year. Life continues.

Friday Funnies

September 15th, 2017

In case you haven’t heard, wildfires have been widespread in most of the western United States and Canada this year. Not only do the wildfires bring untold damage and destruction to the area, but the smoke creates its own health and pollution problems to those of us close enough. Just today I heard about 6 fires in and around Custer State Park and Wind Cave. One of those stories was actually amusing enough to share:

One dark night last week outside Hot Springs a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in a blink of an eye it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.

When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, “All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact.” But the roaring flames held the firefighters off. Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate.

As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company’s secret files.

From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby Norwegian rural township volunteer fire company, composed mainly of Norwegians over the age of 65. To everyone’s amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant. Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno. Outside, the other firemen watched as the Norwegian old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before. Within a short time, the Norse old timers had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas.

The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters. The local TV news reporter rushed in to capture the event on film, asking their chief, “What are you going to do with all that money?” “Vell,” said Ole Oleson, the 70-year-old fire chief, “Da first ting ve gonna do is fix da brakes on dat truck!”

http://wildfiretoday.com/tag/south-dakota/

 

 

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.