Last night when we left for church (around 4:40 p.m.), there was a fire burning about 100 yards from our front door at the corner of the Forest Preseve that we border. There was a firetruck there and a police car. They didn't have hoses out or anything so we just assumed it was a controlled Prairie Burn. They have those about once a year at the Forest Preserves around here.
Two hours later, we return from church to see a wall of fire across the entire Prairie. There were now dozens of firetrucks and police cars and about 100 spectators. Matt went down to talk to the fire chief. Apparently it was not a controlled burn, two teenagers were smoking and put our their cigarettes on very dry prairie grass. The fire chief said our houses were at no risk because the wind was blowing away from us and there was a perimeter of fire trucks between us and the fire. The fire was too far away for the hoses to reach it so they just had to let it burn. Meanwhile, cars keep pulling in to our neighborhood, parking, and getting out to take pictures and film it.
At about 8:30 p.m., the fire had blown farther west and was now approaching the neighborhood next to us. A cop came around on foot and cleared all the spectators out of the neighborhood because a bunch more fire trucks from neighboring cities were on their way. Firetrucks kept pulling into our neighborhood. A bunch of EMT's set up a Medic Area about 10 feet from our front door where firemen would come and kept checked out after they had been firefighting.
It was pretty crazy for awhile. Fortunately, it doesn't appear anyone was hurt or any major property was damaged. At around 10:00 p.m., they had managed to extinguish the whole fire. When we went to bed at 11:00 p.m., the Medic Area was still going strong and six firefighters were still being checked out there.
The pictures below of the fire are literally from our back porch. That is how close it was to us and how big it was. The pictures from this morning are from just down the road from our house. Matt walked down there this morning. Some are from the actual burnt area looking back at our house so you can see how close it got.