The images in this blog post are not mine, but from news articles and friends facebook messages and posts, as I am not there to take any of my own.
A few weeks ago, a dear friend of our called an encouraged us to plead the blood of Jesus over our home and lives, and even our unfinished shed house in Kansas. It was a great conversation, encouraging as always, but because of her prayer burden for us, we took her call extra seriously.
So pray we did, the blood of Jesus specifically and often, over everything we owned. This is something we usually do in passing, like angels of protection in Jesus name, but we specifically asked for the blood of Jesus AROUND our home.
So Sunday night, we start getting calls about evacuations happening because of wildfire in our neck of the woods. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more. It almost didn't seem real!
Then we start getting messages from the neighbors that the fire was literally traveling down our road! And boy did we feel helpless, but we know the important things are here with us. Right? The rest of that stuff, is just stuff. (ooo, and photo albums and home videos. Sniff sniff!) But just stuff we can't take with us anyhow. It will all pass away when we move on to eternity.
That's how I slept that night...I just kept telling myself that!
Because I have sweet neighbors and friends who love me, they were out checking things at our place, as SOON as the evacuation was lifted, and the sun was up.
One friend in particular called me bawling....it's overwhelming, I think, the smoke and the burnt prairie. The homes just a few feet away from the line of black! The video she showed me was mind blowing! I had to sit down and breath a little to take it all in.
You all, the fire literally traveled down our road, crossed behind our neighbors home and kept going north.
We have one burnt tree. One.
I was shaking, crying and praising God for being so faithful to answer the prayers of His children!
This is taken from our neighbors drive. That is our tree row over across the road....
Here is our neighbors home and how close it came to her before moving on north behind her property! God is so good to have protected her home.
Sadly, despite fire crews parking out there all day and watching hot spots, AND bringing in the National Guard to drop water on the area, the wildfires STILL started back up again Monday night. This time the wind shifted and blew TOWARDS town.
They called in firefighters from all over the state to help, but by Monday evening, were instructed to all line up on the road and stop the fire from spreading to town. Its SERIOUS business when they go with that line of action.
That means its going to run wild and free in the country, before being contained as best as possible at the road to city limits. Oh I pray for peoples homes and barns. Horses and animals. Livelihoods and dreams.
All of our country friends north of town, were evacuated. From our new home site northwest of town, all the way over to the property we sold to move into the RV, northeast of town, asked to pack up and leave their homes. All looking back towards a flame filled night sky.
I have got to go to bed. I have been super sick the past few days, but I will finish this when I wake up tomorrow and hear what happened. Until then, I am praying without ceasing!
Thankful to all these heros from near and far coming to help!
It's Tuesday morning, here is what I am learning:
"Reno County officials estimate 6,000 acres have burned in the county; 4,500 acres of that is from the Highlands Area subdivision grassfire. At least 30 homes are destroyed, with the possibility that more are damaged. Local officials have been unable to get into the area to asses the damages." The fire continues to burn and has not been contained. We have been unable at this point to determine damage estimates. However, a fly-over is planned today with a Hutchinson firefighter and Kansas Highway Patrol to get a more accurate picture of the damage.
We know many residents were evacuated and anxious for information about their properties and homes, so we hope to begin damage assessments later today so we can give out accurate information.
The evacuation area remains closed. The area is Hendricks Street to Hwy K-61 from 30th Avenue to 108th Avenue/county line. However those with physical addresses on 30th Avenue have been allowed to return. All areas north of 30th remain closed.
We have heard reports of residents returning to homes to collect belongings. We strongly emphasize the importance of remaining out of the evacuation area. When the wind shifts and there is a great deal of unburned fuel, there is no way to be safe. Also helicopters are doing water drops, and if they spot people in the area they must abort their operations.
Law enforcement officers continue to provide security in the evacuation zone.
The shelter at the Encampment Building at the Kansas State Fairgrounds remains open and there were 70 evacuees in the shelter this morning. There is also a pet shelter open at the fairgrounds, including space for horses.
For information and updates, residents can call 2-1-1, which is an information hotline run by United Way. Also the United Way of the Plains will be taking financial donations for those impacted by the fire. You can contact 2-1-1 about the donations; 100 percent of those donations will be back to the local community.
Also evacuees are encouraged to register as “Safe and Well” on the American Red Cross website: www.safeandwell.communityos.org so that loved ones know you are safe.
We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of the community in donations for our first responders. If you wish to donate items please bring them to the Garden Center at Wal-Mart, 1905 E. 17th. Requested item include: water, Gatorade, high protein snacks, eye drops, contact solution, baby wipes, over the county allergy medication, and phone chargers. Please do not bring items to the fire stations. Salvation Army and Red Cross are coordinating the feeding of first responders.
National Guard will continue air drops throughout the day. Just a reminder to local drone operators that they are prohibited during these air drops. If a drone is spotted, the air drop operations will be halted immediately.
Currently there are over 230 responders still out on-scene from 116 agencies. We are asking for everyone to remain out of the areas so the first responders can do their jobs safely; because this is a long way from being over.o assess damages due to the fire."
This was taken from the clubhouse of the area we live in. Praying for everyone involved!!!! I will update as I learn anything new.