When I was 16, my dad and mom decided to move from Wyoming to Minnesota. My siblings and I were amazed at the beauty of Minnesota, and all the trees the state had. In Wyoming, we lived in an area that had trees, but not near as many as were in the area of Minnesota we had moved to. We moved into a rental house for a brief time until my parents could find a house to buy.

            Within a months’ time, my parents had found a house to buy, and we moved into our new house. The house was on about five acres, and most of the property was wooded, though there were some clear areas to plant a garden and what not. The nearest neighbor was a quarter-mile away, and we had privacy at this house. The house was bordered right next to a swamp, and for the most part we tried to stay away from the area because of the stench. Birds would fly over the swamp, and the stench would knock them out of the sky.

            In the area we lived, it was normal to burn trash in a burning barrel, so we did the same thing as the neighbors, and used a burning barrel. I was the primary burner/trash removal person in my family, so usually I would burn the trash every day or two depending on the amount of trash we had. I would stay outside until the trash burnt down, this was precautionary to avoid a fire. The burning barrel was near the edge of our property, close to the swamp area, this way the stench of the trash burning, and the stench of the swamp were as far away from the house as possible.

            One day, I took the trash out to the burning barrel, and as I had done a hundred times before, I lit the trash on fire. The day had been calm, with no wind to speak of, a great day to burn trash. Suddenly, the wind came up and blew some of the burning trash into the swamp area. I tried unsuccessfully to try and put out the fire, but I was fighting a losing battle. I ran into the house and yelled “THE SWAMP IS ON FIRE” and then I ran back outside to see what could be done.

            My mom, dad, and younger sister ran out to help in any way they could. My dad grabbed a hose and sprinted to the area that was burning, and he yelled for my sister to turn on the water. My sister turned on the water, and my dad waited and waited, no water came out. By now, my mother was frantic and started yelling “CALL AN AMBULANCE” getting mixed up on the proper emergency service to call. My dad kept yelling to my sister “TURN ON THE WATER” and she kept saying “IT’S ALL THE WAY ON”. Come to find out my dad had grabbed the wrong hose, the hose he grabbed wasn’t connected to the faucet.

            In the meantime, while my family was freaking out, I had grabbed a shovel and managed to beat down the fire. We then went and got the hose that was connected and wet down the area thoroughly to avoid any flare-ups. Afterward we all enjoyed a good laugh at the comedy of errors that had happened, and to this day it is a story that makes us all laugh.

swamp fire
Credit: deography.com