A person with little to no farming experience (namely, some radio hosts who live in cities) will cheerfully say, when reading the weather, that a day like today is perfect harvest weather. Today it was 31 degrees, dry and windy. This is not perfect harvest weather. For example, the heat makes everything in the combine too hot, and then the wind blows the dust into the engine compartment and then it starts to smolder. I hate that. Driving along and all of a sudden, you smell smoke. Then you have to blow everything out, and empty the hopper to get under there and put out the smoldering dust. Then all you can smell for the rest of the day is that smoke.
Just after this happened to me today, I saw a plume of white smoke in the west. Not good. The only smoke that looks like that is straw. Generally means, on a day like today, that a combine has actually caught fire and the fire has spread, due to the lovely wind. Then the smoke turned brownish, then black. Which usually means the combine is going up. After running from the combine to the truck a mile or so away (silly me forgot my phone at home), I went home and got Dad and we took off for the fire. Of course we didn’t have our water tank ready like usual, so after getting there and seeing how fast it was spreading (into an uncombined wheat field), we went back home to get the disc to make a fire break. I headed back out, this time with my camera, and discovered that other neighbours had managed to get in front of it with their water truck and put out the flames. When straw burns, it burns quick and goes out and the danger is mostly from the advancing flames, not from continuous burning. Once you get those out, it’s pretty much out, with only black earth left where there was a crop moments before. Apparently some guy was burning garbage in his backyard in a little village near there and it got away on him. Luckily this one wasn’t a combine, but there was another fire farther south, too, which could have been. Next week is supposed to be cooler. Fingers crossed.