This past Thursday on the local TV news we heard about the annual Christmas Tree Burn to be held the following evening at the Old Santa Inés Mission. Of course we had to go. We invited Z. (The Boy) and picked him up after school. It was quite a trip, both literally and figuratively, the event was being held in Solvang, 80 miles to the South; and a trip
because, wow, what a wild and crazy experience. To add to the festivities a classic rock band played fire-themed songs and Z. treated us to fresh hot popcorn.
|Old Mission Santa Inés, est.1804|
We didn't have a Christmas tree to offer but there was no shortage. The pile continued to grow as we waited for the sun to set. The Burn was scheduled to start at 6 pm.
The waning daylight gave us an opportunity to check out the Santa Barbara County's Monster Fire Truck as well as a beautiful sunset over the Santa Ynez River Valley.
|The Man, The Boy, and The Truck |
The evening started out with an educational demonstration by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. First, they lit a wet pine tree, pffft
, not much. Then, they lit a donated Christmas tree. The single tree burst into flames shooting skyward, fueled by dry needles and oily pine resin.
The main event happened quickly. The barriers were set up and the firemen manned the perimeter in case the spectators got too close. Not a problem there. As soon as the burn pile took off we all starting backing up to escape the smoke, ash, and intense heat.
It was worth the trip down to Solvang for a few hours last night. Quite an experience to see a simulated wildfire up close and personal. The Man gets a pat on his back for diligently maintaining our property and keeping us as wildfire-safe as possible.
|Main Message: "Don't try this at home".|