Forest Fire

April 30, 2018
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It was a hot, sunny day in the woods when everything went terribly wrong.  A couple weeks into summer vacation after completing freshman year, a time that will always be a memory to a couple of friends and me.  We planned on hanging out and going fishing over at a neighbor’s pond when we decided to also wear our jet-black waterproof boots, shorts, and a t-shirt.  We then went out to my shed to attain the fishing tackle we needed for fishing.  We each grabbed one fishing pole, and I also grabbed an old, dirty steel tackle box.  Upon starting the walk to the pond, we thought it would be a great idea to fetch some cool water bottles from the garage.  I told one of my friends, Trenton, to hold the tackle box and fishing rod while I go in and get a couple of water bottles.  I handed him the pole and tackle box and ran into the garage and grabbed the bottles.  As soon as I grabbed the bottles, I ran right back outside, so I could retrieve the pole and tackle box from Trenton.  I then handed them each a water bottle. 


We all began to walk to our neighbor’s, the Jones, pond.  We walked eagerly through yard and my next-door neighbor’s yard.  We then reached the long gravel driveway back to their house.  As we got closer, we reached the part of the driveway that was like a smooth skating rank of concrete.  Once we got to the side of the pond where we wanted to fish, we put our poles down and got comfortable.  We then baited our hooks with the small slimy red wigglers.  Each one of us cast the bait into the water at the same time.  After we casted our bait in the sky blue water, I told my friends, “I’m going up to the house to see if they are home.”  After finding out that the Joneses weren’t home, I arrived back at my pole and started recommending that we go down into the woods and start working on our camp area.  We eventually got bored and reeled in our lines. 


We left everything except our water bottles up at the pond and started down the hill into the woods.  Once at the bottom of the steep hill, we crossed the sandy creek to get to our campsite.  As we passed over on the rugged tree that is the only way across, the bark cracked under our steps.  I asserted, “Don’t worry.  That happens all the time.”  Once across, we made our way over through the dense brush and razor sharp thorn bushes.  We eventually made it out with many scrapes on our arms and legs.  We finally arrived!  As we cleaned up the place and organized it, we decided we would like to have a fire.  I claimed, “Since I know the place, I will go up to the Joneses’ house with my empty water bottle and see about getting some gas from their garage.” 


As I reached the top of the hill with gelatin legs, I decided to just go to the old garage that housed their antique jeep.  As I opened the garage door, dust fell off the inside of the garage door.  Right as I entered the garage, I spotted what I was searching for: the gas can.  I took the slippery gas can like a police officer takes a doughnut and my water bottle and filled the bottle about three-fourths of the way up.  As I put the gas can back where it was before, I heard my friends yelling for me to hurry up and get back down there.  I yelled back, “I am coming.  Hold on!”  I then pulled the heavy garage door back down and ran back to the hill faster than a North American X-15 jet. 


I could barely see my friends, but they were stacking limbs and sticks in a pile after making a little fire set up for our fire.  I eventually made the same journey that was previously made through the thick brush and thorn bushes.  I made it through with even more scrapes on my arms and legs with blood starting to show where I had been scratched. 


When I arrived to the spot where we were going to make the fire, I pored a little bit of toxic gas on it and lit a rough match and threw it on the gas.  The gas lit right away, and our fire ignited.  Being teenagers, we had a very stupid idea: pour all the gas on the fire.  I decided I would pour a small constant stream hoping that it wouldn’t cause a giant burst of flame.  Well, I was so wrong.  The bright orange sun flame traveled up the stream and went into the water bottle filled with gas.  The color drew from my face and made me as pale as a piece of paper.  Scared, I threw the bottle-- not a good idea.  Not a good idea at all.  All of the gas was flowing out of the bottle and igniting when it passed through the cap.  It started to burn nearby sticks and bush.  My friends and I panicked, so we filled the water bottles with water from the creek to try to put out the fire.  I nervously yelled, “The plan isn’t working that well.  Two of us continue this plan, and, Trenton, go find a bucket or jar.”  He luckily found an old bucket, and he gave that to me because I was stronger and could maneuver it quicker to hopefully put out the fire.  About three minutes passed, and there wasn’t much extinguished.  We kept pushing ourselves to keep going to try to put it out. 


After five minutes of trying to put out the fire, we finally extinguished all of the flames.  We didn’t stop pouring water on the area because there were still smoldering ashes, and we wanted to make sure everything was put out.  After that experience, we decided to pick everything up and make the venture back because we were very scared and exhausted.  All of us  agreed to never do that again, moping slowly up the hill.  We finally made it up the hill, grabbed our fishing poles, and made it back to my house. 


We went inside and cleaned up. After calming down, they went back to their houses.  To this day, when we hang out, we still joke about what happened that day.  If the fire wouldn’t have been extinguished, would that fire have turned into a major fire, needing the fire department?






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