charred yard.
I'm so glad we can laugh about this.

Yesterday Nick treated us to a yummy fajita dinner. Unfortunately, the chicken was not the only thing that got cooked.

Nick lit the fire (in the fire box of the smoker) and then came upstairs to help with Kate's bath and bedtime routine. Although he normally rocks her and puts her to bed, he passed the privilege on to me so he could go get the meat started. I came down a few minutes later to see a partially open back door and smell a burned, sooty smell in the living room. I walked out, but since it was already dark outside, I couldn't tell what I was looking at. Were those shadows across the grass? No. Nick was standing in the grass, a mess of soot all over him. I was still trying to process what I was looking at. Did the fire box open and ash blow everywhere? No, that didn't make sense. 

Nick explained that some of the newspaper must have blown out of the fire box after he had lit it. He said he walked out to a yard on fire. He quickly grabbed the hose and started spraying it all down. The dead, dry grass was perfect kindling, but fortunately the fire stayed very low to the ground, otherwise our tree, arbor, and fence could have easily caught and turned it into something much more dangerous. 

My first thoughts were 1) praise the Lord the house didn't burn down, 2) I guess Kate won't be playing outside much, and 3) oh my word, we're going to have to wipe Kirby's paws down every time she comes back in the house.

As we finished up dinner prep, Nick said, "Well, I barbequed some chicken and the yard tonight. But if you think about it, it's really good fertilizer for the grass."

I think it's safe to say we'll be more careful in the future. As Smokey says, "Only you can prevent forest backyard fires."