“There’s nothing more powerful than fire. Nothing’s more destructive than fire.”
Uncontrollable acts of nature, tornadoes and flooding are dreadful with lost lives and property.
Fire is different as seen possible to restrain. It is not when ample fuel powered by unrelenting wind expands dominance.
Despite modern technology, when fire and wind pair, there is no stopping until one or the other ceases.
Point came to haunt again with the biggest wildfire on record in Kansas last week. It was just a year after a previous record setting blaze of destruction in the state.
Incomprehensible to those who’ve never experienced situations when dry foliage, spark and gust come together.
Just one time when a planned Flint Hills burn goes awry with wind’s increased speed and change of direction there’s never doubt of fire’s power.
Losses yet incalculable from those most recent wildfires continue mounting with recovery efforts underway.
Wind calming and sparse moisture promise reprieve while further devastation fear remains for reigniting accompanied by unyielding nature.
Horrification is most decisive as human lives are lost when unable to move out of runaway fire’s deadly path.
Rampant blaze powered clearing of forage creates destruction that nature will replenish in own due time. Even wildlife will return through years.
Homes can be rebuilt, but those physical most personal possessions of perhaps several generations are irreplaceable. Monetary loss is far from that of the cherished “money can never buy.”
Most laborious and costly too miles of fences and barnyards will be reestablished with optimism of better times forward.
Terribleness of cattle becoming terrified stampeding to escape unstoppable demise most excruciating.
More atrocious are those with remaining life suffering without mercy. Ghastliness expands further when humanely-conscientious owner-stockmen are forced to end misery. Aftermath in managing those certain remains whatever the method demanded is perplexing.
Comment reflected about prairie wildfires of previous centuries when buffalo survived by instinctively moving behind mounds as blazes swept over and around. Domesticated livestock lack such intuitiveness.
Most appreciated and admirable the enormous outpouring of generosity in manpower, feedstuff, equipment, personnel, state and federal financial assistance are incalculable, yet providing necessitated moral reinforcement,
Reminds of Joel 1:20: “God, I pray. Prairie fires rage unchecked. The whole country is burning up.” Yet, Philippians 2:4: “Put yourself aside, and help others. Forget yourselves to lend a helping hand.”
Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.