With 10 acres of work ahead of us, how to begin? Sometime in the past 60 years the trees on this property grew and were neglected ending up now looking like a forest scene from ‘Hansel & Gretel’. Beneath many of these trees were piles of debris: carpets and padding over here under the cedar, glass and old window sashes over there by the fir, tires in back with the alders. All seeming to be be in some unknown pattern when tearing down the old shop building, finally the answer was found. In a corner, an old sign for the roadside bearing, “Let us organize your life”. Remembering the numerous and diverse piles these trees held we had to have to laugh at the humor of this.
With the debris finally gone now what to do with the structures? The mobil homes we hauled away to the dump as we couldn’t even give them away for free. The solution to the house and barn, burn them. The local Fire Dept., District #4 was excited at the prospect of having a training burn. So for the next month they would come one night a week and do arson training. In the dark with the flashing fire truck lights, the ensuing smoke would cause many a neighbor going by to wonder just what was going on in our lives. Finally the burn day arrived and to add to the exciting atmosphere a keg of scotch ale was procured forgetting that 50 or so firefighters couldn’t join in. With two structures fully engulfed in flames it was quite a sight, the black smoke rising, firefighters entering the inflamed house in full bunker gear. By 5:00 pm they were wrapping it up for home but with the structures still burning. If I would to stay the night and watch over it, they were willing to let it burn the rest of the way down. Picture driving down the road at night seeing a whole house and adjacent barn fully on fire, 911 got a lot of calls that night.
With a months rent on an excavator, the dark woods were logged, stumps pulled and sent to the Salmon Enhancement Program. The rest of the buildings were demolished, piled up and burned just as the Fire Chief was driving by. What to do when caught ‘red’ handed but wave as he tried not to notice the flames soaring into the sky. Figuring I was in their good graces after all that great training they got, I was obviously pushing my luck.