Sunday, June 19

Arizona Monument Fire

It has been a crazy, CRAZY, week here in Sierra Vista.  Never before in my life have I seen the terror that is a wildfire.  Bonfires?  That I am used to, but wildfires are ridiculous. A week ago today, we played at a golf course near the Mexican border, and as we were on our way home, we saw a fire in the mountains.  We mentioned to each other and talked about it a little as the law enforcement race to shut down a couple of roads.  I never thought that a week out I would still be talking about it, and watching it from my back yard.
(This was taken last Sunday about the time the fire started)
Matt and I are in no immediate danger, but every day the fire has progressed more and more over the mountains, and while our home isn't in a threat zone at the moment, other peoples homes and businesses are.  It is really sad.  Over the last couple of days our friends have been given evacuation orders, allowed to return to their homes, only to be given evac orders again.  

The weather here is beyond dry, Matt and I have been here since late March and we have not seen a single drop of water from the sky since, I have no idea how long it has actually been.  The sad part is, the "rainy season" isn't supposed to be here for another month.    The fire is just eating across the mountain side like something I have never seen.  Aside from almost no humidity in the air, the wind is that of a tropical depression.  Today we have sustained winds of 30-40 mph with gusts up to 50-60 mpg, and if you payed attention in school you know how much that just fuels the already monstrous flames.  Here is a piece of info they gave out at a town hall meeting:  The typical piece of lumber you buy at Lowe's has anywhere from 12-15% humidity, the trees here have 0% humidity.  That really struck me.
(At night)
The firefighters and other first responders have been doing such a great job trying to get everything under control and allow families to return safely to their homes, but unfortunately today, because of the high wind and high smoke, there is no visibility for the fire fighting planes to do their job, they are grounded.

Matt and I went out for lunch and as we were driving away from the restaurant we just sat in awe in the parking lot, looking at the mountain side, it was visible to the eye, seeing it just slowly eat away at whatever it pleased.  You could see the flames from a few miles away, in broad daylight.  It was really eye opening, heart wrenching, and interesting all at the same time.  

I wrote this not to freak out our friends and families, but just to try and put a little perspective to what it has been like around here.  It definitely opened a dialogue between Matt and I, as well as our friends about how we would respond to a fire.  We are prepared.  Praying for no wind, lots of rain, and for everyone whose lives are being affected forever!

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