We found ourselves covering the pending, early-morning evacuation of more than a dozen people off of Bradford Island near Antioch this morning, crews having trouble reaching the island due to heavy smoke from a fire burning there since about midnight.
Eventually, three people were taken off the island with the rest opting to stay and fight the fire and, yep, we kinda liked that. When all was said and done more than 200 of the island’s 2,000 acres was scorched and the island continues to smolder.
This was a little Far East for us and we debated sticking our beaks in until we started getting requests for information on the unfolding scenario so there we were. Maybe it was just because we were up. Apparently, Bradford experiences these fires every once in a great while but since there are no roads to the island, there is no fire coverage and it is accessible only by boat, it can be difficult to leave in a hurry when things get smoky – as they did through the morning.
At least a couple of buildings have burned with more ominous black smoke continuing to rise but there were no reported injuries – the island is composed of a peaty material conducive to stubborn fire. For a while there we felt transported back to the 1800s as Islanders sought to avoid the fire while their only link to the “mainland,” a ferry, geared up to evacuate them.
Living on an island can be fun, until you need to get off of it in a hurry.