Maybe it’s because it’s been bumping up to triple digits this week in Braemar. The heat is enough to make anyone crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only one that would like the blame the recent fire set by wandering juveniles on a case of heat-induced wackiness.
Whatever the reason, there my husband and I were driving down Tartan Hills Parkway from Native Rocks, heading to Sudley Manor Drive, when we saw smoke billowing up from the grassy, wooded area to the right of the walking path. Because there is quite a ditch there, and other cars stopped, we pulled over to see if there had been an accident. Nope. There was a fire in the large storm sewer that went between two wooded areas and under Tartan Hills Parkway. The car that had stopped saw some teenage boys leaving the scene.
Obviously, these kids were up to no good, but seemed to not have the sense the good Lord gave them. Setting up a campfire on a 90+ degree day in an enclosed area? No wonder they set it and took off. They couldn’t breathe and it was hot as hell.
The Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department was called to the scene and made short work of dousing the fire. My husband, James and another passerby had done their best to stomp out what they could before the fire truck arrived. James said that sticks and branches were gathered and placed in an area in the middle of the storm sewer. The “campfire” was about six feet by six feet. No small job.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize how bad this could have turned out if even one ember had blown into the wooded area that runs up next to homes. Northern Virginia is experiencing a severe drought. Normally light green grass for this time of year looks scorched and dead as you drive by any landscaping that is not consistently watered. Trees are having browning and dead leaves. Property could have been put at risk by this prank. And the wildlife that lives in the woods and ocassionally travel through the storm sewer could have been injured as well. (Yes, the images of the forest fire in Bambi will never leave my mind.)
Just another reminder to do two things: Keep an eye on your kids and teach them the dangers of playing with fire. This was a minor inconvenience to residents kind enough to stop, and the Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department certainly had better things to do with their time than put an end to a group of juvenilles ill-conceived plan.
Crazy from the heat indeed. Got me to thinking back to the days of MTV and missing this character.