They grow ’em tough in Colorado

My family lived in Colorado for several years before moving to Oregon, so I’m always alert to news from there. When I saw an article mentioning Weld County, I sat up and took notice — that’s our old county. Following the link led me to a video of startling courage.

After a thunderstorm brought lightning to a rural area near Brighton, Colo., a fire broke out and quickly consumed 20-30 acres of an 80-acre hayfield. To prevent the fire’s spread, local farmer Eric Howard got in his John Deere tractor and chased the flames, digging a fire line around the blaze to cut off its path.

A helicopter was there to record it, and the video is on its way to going viral. Mr. Howard saved the remainder of the field and heaven knows what else — Colorado is a tinderbox these days and has already seen a record-setting fire this year. Anyone who can stop a fire in its tracks deserves the thanks of everyone in his county.

Note: one commenter on YouTube says the field was not Howard’s, but a neighbor’s. I can’t easily confirm that, but if it’s true, double hats off.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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5 Responses to They grow ’em tough in Colorado

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    Well, that little escapade called for more brass and adrenaline than the average person can ever hope to muster more than once or twice in a lifetime! Riding so close to the flames … imagine if the wind had shifted. Impressive.

  2. xenatuba says:

    Also note that the speed he was running is close to top speed for that implement. That is an incredibly brave act!

  3. Fletch says:

    That is impressive. Brass ones. He was motoring pretty good.

  4. Hick Crone says:

    I’m from a farm background. What this video shows is really not that uncommon. The fire is in a grain field, can’t tell if the crop has already been harvested. It looks like it hasn’t, from the track patterns in the unburned portion. From the wind direction and blackened pattern, it looks like the fire might have started at the road, lower left in video. This kind of fire backs slowly into the wind so this tractor is not in any danger. If this is not the operator’s field, I’d guess the fire might have started in his field and he’s trying to save the neighbor’s crop. In my combine operating days, we carried a five gallon bucket of water with a wet gunny sack for fire suppression. That was enough if you saw the fire when it first started.

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