As promised, the True Story I told earlier in the month now gets a follow up. Fires have not been something I have had all that much experience with, just the car fire from work earlier this month and one other time. It was a few months after the fourth of of July and I had some fireworks that I had snuck in from New Mexico on a road trip. We had fired most of the good stuff off on the Fourth, but I still had a few Roman Candles left.
A bunch of people had decided to throw a desert party, you know beer and music out in the middle of nowhere and I went along for the fun. I took the Roman Candles along to shoot them off. After a few hours of drinking and carrying on, I brought out the fireworks to everyone's appeal. There were probably 8 or 9 of us, though everyone at the actual party is a little hazy. I was really only friends with two of them, my friend Bill from Flagstaff, and my roommates brother Danny. The rest of the group were friends of friends, you know the type. You never see them unless someone is having a party. So you know who they are but you never really see them otherwise. There was one guy there that I didn't know, named Barry.
Barry it seemed had finished a short stretch in jail for something, I think drunk and disorderly and fighting and was on probation. Anyway we were all listening to music when we got the rockets out. The ground was so hard packed that we couldn't get the end of the candle in the ground to plant it. So we did the only safe and careful thing to do. Lit the wick and held the rocket casing in our hand. For those of you who don't know, a Roman Candle has a hard shell surrounding it and launches five fireworks into the air to explode. The first rocket went off no problem. The second rocket got us in trouble.
Danny was holding it in his hand as the fireworks exploded up in the sky. The first 3bursts went fine, but on the fourth bust the bottom of the shell casing blew off. Danny was so surprised that he lowered his arm and jumped. The last firework burst out in a horizontal line streaking across the desert floor exploding in a small tree surrounded by shrubbery. The bushes went up in a huge burst of flames. The weather had been so dry that the fire was in a 20 foot radius in a matter of seconds. All of us dashed to the fire and began using any means necessary to extinguish the blaze. All of us thinking that we need to get this fire out or we are going to go to jail for this. All of us thought that but Barry, who was in his car peeling off down the dirt road before any of us even made it to the fire. He later claimed that there was no way he was going back to jail for that.
The rest of us used beer, an old water jug and our shoes to attack the blaze. After about 45 minutes we had stomped most of it out. Bill even backed his truck up and peeled out, throwing dirt onto the bigger sections. My shoes were half melted and all of us were exhausted stamping out every last ember. I am still amazed to this day that we got that under control. The fire was huge, and using only the stuff we had with us to put it out is crazy. It's safe to say that was the LAST desert party I went to. For days after the fire I was sure that someone would get busted as we had left tire tracks and litter at the site, as well as a huge blackened circle of shrubs. I now realize the odds of someone in authority being that far out in the middle of nowhere and discovering the fire seems far fetched. What doesn't seem far fetched is the damage we could have caused goofing off. I've since learned my lesson with fireworks. Always plant that shit deep.
End of Line.