For Peru firefighters called to a bulldozer on fire southwest of town Wednesday afternoon, the high winds and dry conditions were further complicated by dense clouds of dust.
The home of Mildred Vanderford was a half mile upwind of the burning bulldozer and was blanketed in dust and smoke by the time Dan Hodges came to check on the house.
Hodges: " I thought we were real close when I saw the smoke. When I came from the east it was right towards the house you couldn't even see the house thorough the smoke. It was terrible."
As Hodges was speaking to Auburn firefighters who appeared to have extinguished the fire in grass near the house, flames suddenly burst from an old wood scale nearby.
Clouds of wind-driven dust were so dense, visibility at times was reduced to a few feet.
Hodges spent much of the afternoon carrying a bucket of water and trying to stomp out small fires started by blowing embers.
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