Forest Fire

Yosemite Fire

Choking on the acrid smoke

Lips dry and parched

Eyes stinging, bloodshot

Staring at the devastation

Aggressive efforts

By armies in bunker gear

All for naught

With a change in the wind

Firesnakes overhead

Continuous drops

Families trapped

Flames creeping closer

Searing heat

Everything becomes fuel


Tearful goodbyes

Historic houses engulfed

Taking memories

And moments away

Leaving only sorrow

And ash

Fire fightersForest FireAerial Fire Fightersaftermath from firewild fire

Large Forest Fires

A Large Fire, as defined by the National Wildland Coordinating Group, is any wildland fire in timber 100 acres or greater and 300 acres or greater in grasslands/rangelands or has an Incident Management Team assigned to it.  These fires are tracked by the US Forest Service and can be viewed online at their website.

The Active Fire Mapping Program is an operational, satellite-based fire detection and monitoring program managed by the USDA Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center (RSAC) located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Active Fire Mapping program provides near real-time detection and characterization of wildland fire conditions in a geospatial context for the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Detectable fire activity across all administrative ownerships in the United States and Canada are mapped and characterized by the program.

By understanding where fires are burning and what potential they have for destruction of property and disruption of life, the proper resources can be allocated to fight them.



R J Schwartz
Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

5 thoughts on “Forest Fire

  • August 12, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    Thank you for this not only informative piece, but also the accompaniment of a fine poem, revealing the challenges and devastation with the aftermath of a fire’s destruction. Very well done.


  • August 12, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    I did enjoy this, thank you for sharing

  • August 12, 2016 at 7:55 PM

    Thanks for reading – I live in Idaho and fires here are the real deal – we need as much awareness as possible

  • August 13, 2016 at 1:18 AM

    Ralph, the poem is so expressive of the effects of forest fires on property and people. The losses are devastating. I have a friend in Colorado who is a volunteer fire fighter and also a nephew who is a First Response fire fighter here in Nevada. When they get back home after days of fighting fires, it takes several showers to get rid of the smell of smoke and the soot from their hair. The information you provide is very interesting. Well done, Ralph.

  • August 13, 2016 at 2:16 AM

    Well penned Ralph, and we have often horrendous fires here in Australia. Its the natural course in the outback, for it regenerates seeds and plants that can’t any other way. But they can get out of control and many lives can be lost. Thanks God for the ‘fireries’ that risk their lives to save both life and property.


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