The first night we were there, a storm passed through the area. Sometime during the night, there was a lightning strike northwest of town that started a fire. The foreman at the ranch saw the strike, checked the fire, and then reported it. Firefighting crews thought they had contained the fire during the night, but the next morning the fire gained new life. We watched the smoke intensify throughout the day as we rode around town looking at houses. This fire was called the Encino Ranch fire, and it was soon contained. Recently, a much larger fire to the north of San Angelo has emerged, called the Wildcat Fire, and it is still doing considerable damage to the countryside as I write this.
It is difficult to express just how dry that country is. I thought the best way would be to show a picture. While in Angelo, we drove through San Angelo State Park, which is on the western edge of the city. The park lies along the shoreline of O. C. Fisher Lake, which is formed by the North Concho River. If you look at a map of this area, you will see that the lake appears to be quite large:
|San Angelo, Texas; OC Fisher Lake to the west|
|Boat ramp to dry lake bed|
|Boat ramp and dam|
|Body of lake|