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Smoke School Stories
Dothan Island l00% Opacity Loping Plume- The US Coast Guard Fire July 26, 2009
Vacation Time- Angie & I had great time fishing & swimming on the beautiful white sandy beeches on Dothan Island AL. We were watching the sunset from the west cost of the island. When we started driving east back to the only hotel, we noticed a huge black looping plume with l00% opacity along the east coast. At first I thought it was a smoking flare from one of the off coast oil rigs or something. When we got closer, it appeared to be a burning building. I picked up the cell phone & dialed 9ll. “Do you wish to report an emergency?”
“We got l00% opacity looping plume here on the east coast.”
“We got a house fire here on the east coast.”
“How do you get there?”
“You still got one of those big red trucks, don’t you?”
Several big red fire trucks nearly ran us off the narrow road with red lights flashing in the dark. Then we followed the trucks and watched the volunteer firemen run the fire hoses & spring into action. Three young dudes came sprinting past us. I heard them say that they thought it was one of their buildings on fire. They were wearing dark T-Shirts with US Coast Guard printed on the back. We also noticed a sign for US Coast Guard.
We got as close as they would let us. It appeared that the fire started from spontaneous combustion of a flammable liquid in one of several 20 X l0 foot pine storage sheds. The fire was absolutely beautiful in the night. Obviously everyone had gone home for the day so nobody was hurt. One shed was completely engulfed in flames when we arrived. The fire had already jumped from one shed to another. The firemen were concentrating on keeping the fire from spreading to the remaining sheds. They were really getting into it, & shouted with glee when the first building collapsed.
I noticed some sparks igniting some dry grass along some pine trees that covered the north edge of the island. One resident bystander commented that if the pine forest caught on fire it may burn down the entire island. The wind was just right for spreading the fire. Eventfully the firefighters spotted the grass fire & put it out. It was very exciting & beautiful. It was more fun than watching Obama or Michael Jackson on TV. I am getting really aggravated with this email. The “a” & the “l one” key stopped working. I am having to use the “L” key for the one, and paste in the “a”. Just try to count the “a’s” in this email.
During the first week in August Angie & I are planning another working vacation to Disney World & St Augustine Florida. We have a smoke school scheduled for August 3 in Orlando. Presently we have 4 people registered which may cover the gas. I just cant understand why we can not get people to attend smoke school in Florida. Say, you should register & let your company provide you with expense paid vacation. We are taking our Son Aaron, age l2 & his neighborhood friend- neither has ever seen Disney. We are also taking my friend & employee, Larry the cable guy. Although Larry is 62 & was born in Alabama he has never been to Florida. I feel good that I am improving Larry’s life. He had never even driven a car until he made 45. Well as the late Walter Cronkite used to say, “That is the way it is.”
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EPA Method 9 Visible