Monday, March 20, 2006

From drought to this!

For several months, Kansas has had no rain, no precipitation of any kind. Now, we have had three days of rain in a row, and are expecting snow. This is a very welcome relief for many people, as most of the state has been in extreme fire danger for a very long time, and the crops that farmers are trying to grow have been dying.

For those of you not familiar, there are vast portions of the state that are unoccupied by people. The majority of these portions are comprised of farmland, on which is raised wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, maize (a kind of funny-looking corn used to feed cattle), some corn, sunflowers, and, of course, cows, horses, goats, pigs, etc. (These are not allowed within city limits, though.) For this reason, when the thousands of acres of land have caught fire, there were very few homes damaged, but the naturally high winds and few access roads made it difficult for these fires to be put out. Also, because these are generally unoccupied areas, there were few (if any) water lines to the affected areas.

Don't think, though, that the towns and cities have been out of danger, though. In fact, there is a greater danger where there is a large population of people, because people can be very stupid. You'd think that when the television news, radio news and newspaper have been telling people for months that we are in extreme drought conditions and that a burn ban is in effect, people would understand that this means they can't burn their trash in outdoor incinerators, and that it's not a good idea to throw their lit cigarettes into the grass or out of their car windows while driving down a road that has crispy dry grass on both sides. But, alas, people do very dumb things, and then think, "Oh, gosh, how horrible!" when they hear about the grass fires in town.

One fire got dangerously close to an LCMS church in Wichita!

We are hoping and praying that the rain we have and continue to receive will take us out of drought conditions, but we're not sure. Because our land has been parched for so long, it will take a lot of steady moisture to refresh the land enough that the grasses and crops won't catch fire after a day of no rain.

Please pray for those in the affected areas that their land and homes are spared, and that those who would be responsible for setting these fires (however ignorant of their involvement they may be) would have the common sense to properly dispose of their trash and cigarettes. Or that Divine intervention takes over and prompts them to avoid such behaviors that would contribute to the need to dispose of burning materials in the first place. :)

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