If it isn’t the snow it’s the lack of it or the heat or the cold or any number of ways we as Minnesotans talk and whine about the weather. I love warm sunny days and clear skies but more welcome than that right now is rain or any type of precipitation.
I didn’t complain yesterday when I woke up to a cloudy sky and a wet deck. I will complain now when I realize how little rain fell. A tenth of an inch mid-trail added to all of the precipitation during the month of March doesn’t even equal an inch! March on the Gunflint Trail usually sees well over ten inches of precipitation and even in March of 2007 we had fifteen inches.
Some of you may know why I refer to March of 2007. It was before April of 2007 which was before May of 2007 when on the 5th the Ham Lake Fire began. We’re starting out even drier than that year, there are burning bans in place and there’s already been brush fires in Northeastern Minnesota this spring.
The threat of wildfire only leaves my mind when there’s snow cover or puddles. I look at the water level and think about the wildfire sprinkler systems whose intake hoses weren’t long enough to reach the water and save cabins in 2007. I wonder if our hose is long enough and while on a walk the other day I checked two of our neighborhood cabins to see if there’s would reach. Not quite. And that’s with a really long intake hose added post Ham Lake Fire.
There is still ice on the lakes and the water level will go up when the ice goes off. Until then we would need to use an auger to drill a hole at each property before we could even start the sprinkler system. It would be a very time consuming task and time wasn’t something we had much of in 2007.
The spring melt of snow is over and so is the run off. That means we need snow or rain or both and green buds on the trees before the threat of wildfire is lessened. I think about the Smoky Bear sign that describes what level of Fire Danger we are at; Low, Medium, High, Extreme. I want to put another meter next to Smoky that says "Property Owner Anxiety Level" with the same descriptions. I’m currently at a High level soon to be extreme if we don’t get some precipitation.
So, let’s do a rain dance and let the sky open up and the puddles overflow.