Wednesday, September 28, 2005


We are tinder dry here in eastern Nebraska. When harvesting in these conditions, one must be careful of fire. One small spark can do a lot of damage. Yesterday, either my tractor or combine set a fire in some bean stubble (already harvested soybeans). The fire quickly spread to the unharvested crop in the field. About 3 to 5 acres of beans were destroyed. Part of our hail insurance, also covers loss from fire. The covered financial loss isn't what this story is about.
The wind was very high, and it kept the smoke low to the ground. So, soon after it started, it was simply amazing how that many of my good neighbors, could have seen the smoke and responded that quickly. A couple of them plus my wife called 911. Within 10 minutes, 4 'attack' fire trucks arrived and went to work. These trucks are designed to drive thru open fields and dispense water from water cannon's mounted on the back. Also arriving were tank trucks to help feed water to the smaller, more mobile trucks.
One of my neighbors 'borrowed' a tractor and disc from a close neighbor and tilled a path around the fire to cut it short. The tractor manuever and the firemen, knocked the fire down in a few minutes. As I watch this volunteer fire department work, it was as if they had rehearsed the procedure to fit my field. They are well trained, well equipped, and keep the fire insurance rates for this rural community, as low as they can be. The neighbors and the fire department kept the fire from jumping my lane and into an adjacent corn field, they knew, that would be the beginning of a fire that could involve a lot of land owners and several thousand acres.
There was a potential for a disaster, that was stopped at maybe a $500 loss. Tekamah is so very fortunate to have the Tekamah Volunteer Fire and Rescue. They have several EMT's among their ranks and their response to accidents and health problems is just as impressive. If we ever have a local disaster, these will be the men whom we can, and will count on. They won't quit or leave their post until it's over.
Thanks men!
I am also blessed with the best neighbors in the country. They came and did what they could, and just as fast, left to continue their own harvest before I could thank most of them.
Thanks men!
To top this all off, my insurance agent called me today. She said "Cliff I understand you had a fire. I've turned in your claim". "The adjuster will be out tomorrow". You gotta love small towns.


Ralph's Homespun Headlines said...

Two things. First, just reading this post makes we appreciate Tekamah all that much more. That is what it is all about, neighbor helping neighbor. You are truly blessed to live there.
Secondly, after reading your comment yesterday I told Char about the fire. Any idea what she said? How about - well, at least you weren't there so I didn't have to worry about it being your fault!
I quickly relied - Hey! That airplane tire only had 32 plys. Anybody could have drug it around the corn field.

Bossy♥'s YOU said...


gotta love the volunteer fire dept thoguh:)

Jerry said...

Cliff, you are very lucky indeed. Those fires can quickly get out of control, and lots of dry crops to feed the flames.

Our rain gauges are all full here. I'll try to send some of it out your way. Good luck with the harvest!

JUST A MOM said...

That is just so cool Cliff, I am glad they got it out quick. wwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa another reason I hate the city!!!!!

Paul said...

Great blog, Cliff. My First Wife and I are talking about taking a day trip up to your neck of the woods, --er prairies, just to see your small town. I love 'em, too.

Rachel said...

It's wonderful to have great neighbors like that! Sorry about the fire but glad it wasn't worse than it could have been. I enjoy reading your blog! Thanks for sharing. I am a reader from KY. Never been to NE before. It's been so dry here as well. I haven't mown the lawn for 3 weeks! No need, it just crunches when you walk on it. Last night we did get about 1/2 inch of much needed rain.
Keep safe!

Jamie Dawn said...

Those men deserve the recognition and thanks you've given them.
There's nothing like a small town mentality when it comes to neighbor helping neighbor. I'm so glad the fire was put out quickly.
Sounds like you may have an opportunity to meet fellow blogger Paul and his wife before too long. How neat!

Rhodent said...

So glad that it was not worse for you! I think you are very fortunate to live in an area like that. Small towns are wonderful. I just wish I could find one that is close enough to a city to enjoy some of the city stuff as well. My mother's family is from North Dakota/ Minnesota... lots of fields there. Where she has her summer home the neighbors really do pitch in to help each other.

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

You are very lucky.

Susi said...

Here in Mid-VA, Rice, VA, it's the same. Small towns are the glue that holds the country together. Local high school boys become heroes when they join the VFD. At close by Hampden-Sydney College the Local VFD is manned by college students, who are excused from class to answer the fire horn. Many find local jobs so they can man the VFD during the summer! Every year there is an EMT class that requires many hours of work and study, but the boys happily take that on in addition to their studies. The HSCVFD has won competitions, too. Volunteer Fire Departments are working clubs, tightknit groups of friends helping neighbors. And the Rescue Squad!! WOW! I know a local lawyer who spends more time running and working the Squad than practicing law!