Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another Fire and More Smoke

I made a whirlwind trip to Odessa with my neighbor and his wife yesterday for him to find a pickup. He did and it turned out to be a good one. (Probably too good to be down here being beat to death by the roads down here) Anyway while we were in Odessa A fire had started about 60 or so miles south of Odessa around Iraan and I 10 was closed in that area and traffic was being rerouted. They were cutting in fire breaks along I 10 to keep the fire from spreading across the highway.

By the time we were getting ready to head back down here the smell of smoke was all over Odessa from the fire down south and a thin blanket of smoke was almost starting to look like light fog there. On the way back down here we smelled that smoke for around 70 miles and then at least the smell subsided some and it lightened up some, but it was still pretty smoky to the south east. When we were within about 50 miles of Alpine the smell of smoke and charred earth came back and then we saw where the fire had been in that area again.

Yesterday morning on the way to Odessa and just east of Alpine we saw where the fire in that area had covered a vast area. Encore Energy people and equipment were putting up new poles to replace all of the ones that had burned down. It looked like a small army out there. Power lines were hanging almost to the ground and only being healed up by distant posts in some areas because the post between them no longer stood. Last night when we got back to that area it looked like power companies from other states had joined in and the army had grown significantly. They were still hard at it shortly before nightfall, but it looked like they had made good progress in getting a lot of the missing poles replaced.

I'd emailed Frann to tell her we were going to Odessa that morning and to see if she needed anything from there, but she said she didn't, but told me to be sure and take my camera to take pictures. I forgot it so no picture for this thread. :(

Last night after I got home I had a killer sinus headache from smelling all the smoke. I took four Advil and a Benadryl and that didn't help much so I made use of a saline nasal inhaler trying to get that smell out of my nose. It only worked to an extent, but did help some. I still have a slight headache this morning.

As a side note I did get to visit with my little sister and RN for lunch and then we all went out to eat for supper and we left from there to head back south. Would have liked to have seen my older sister and her family as well as other family there, but time and searching for pickups didn't permit that.

I saw Nick day before yesterday and he gave me a good idea on patching the Dungeon II without welding. His idea was to use Bondo to patch the holes. For those who don't know what Bondo is? Well its sort of a paste used in repairing dints in automobiles and the like and once its put on it hardens and becomes permanent. The idea sounded good so I picked up some that had fiberglass strands in it which will hold up much better. That will free me from having to use the welder and maybe starting a fire around here.


  1. Those wildfires are just terrible. My thoughts are with everyone that have lost homes/buildings and livestock.

    Sounds like the bondo and not welding is a safe and good bet to go with right now.


  2. Yeah QK, I don't want to take any chances on starting a fire. I will have to do some welding around the door, but have the area in front of it cleared of anything that might start on fire.

    Since I use a lot of matches around here to burn trash, light burners and so on I've been saving the partially burned matches for some reason. I just figured out a good use for them because I can go inside the tank and push them through the small holes where I see light coming in. Can't see the small holes outside so that marks them where I can see them to sand them down and bondo them on the outside.

    We did see an adobe house on a hill where the fire had been through near Alpine and it looked like the fire swept around it. It looked like it survived fine, but I don't know what else was lost to the owners. Adobe or some variation of it or maybe steel may be the safest bet down here.

  3. Glad you had a safe run up to Odessa and back. Breathing that kind of stuff can, and usually does, give you fits for a while. We had a grass fire once when we lived outside Bastrop and the smell seems to last forever as well. Hopefully yall will miss any down your way. Take care

  4. Yeah still got the headache, but it isn't as bad. The smell is still with me so I figure it really smells smoky here.

  5. You might want to use spray-on undercoating on that tank top. That should seal it real good after you knock the rust off with a grinder with a wire brush on it. That stuff will fill up all of those little holes also.

  6. RH, there aren't any holes in the roof. Matter of fact all of the leaks are from about half way up from the floor. I'd imagine water sat in the lower half of that tank for many years before it started leaking. I took some super glue later on along with some fiber glass screen and glued patches over the bigger holes. I'll bondo over that. I plan to put pallets on the floor to stack my stuff on and will cover it with tarps inside to keep rust particles from falling on it.

  7. Now that is an idea - why not cover the entire D2 with a fireglass "screed" - not eco-friendly, I know, but at least it will protect D2 from the elements and hopefully from rusting into extinction. Fibreglass isn't hard to apply (though make sure you wear glasses and gloves) and apply it with your back to the wind, if it's blowing...

  8. Dani, as is that tank will outlast me for what I need it to do, After that it won't matter much to me. Also since its a very old tank and was built back when they still bolted tanks together rather than welding them trying to fiberglass over all of those bolts would be very hard to do. It is still sound so no problem with it falling apart any time soon. There is one place where it looks like someone shot it with a 45 caliber pistol and it only dented and stopped that round. Of course that was above the part where the holes are or it would have probably made another hole.


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