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Monday, June 20, 2011

Wallow's aftermath

The fire is up to 519,000 acres and still burning.  That's bad news.
By comparison, the Yellowstone fires of 1988, the largest in U.S. history, was 793,000 acres.
The Wallow fired has destroyed 32 homes.  This land is largely uninhabited and because of this few homes have been destroyed.  But that is the exact beauty of it!  No people.  No Walmart.  No highways.  No good way for fire crews to get in there and fight the fire.  Just vast unsettled land where God speaks so loudly and clearly that it's hard to miss His message.  I've had many many discussion with Him out there.  Sometimes I just listen.  Sometimes I do most of the talking.
The good news is that the containment of the fire is up to 51%.  The northern and eastern sides of the fire (we are on the far northeastern corner) are under control.   I'm so very sorry New Mexico, this is where the fire is currently burning and traveling farther your direction.  The highway that skirts the northern border of the fire, SR260, reopened and Papa couldn't resist taking a Sunday drive to see what the land looked like.
Note the amount of crappola on my windshield.  It's not really the ideal circumstances for taking photographs, but I did my best.  It was either shoot through the tinted bug-smooshed windshield, or stick my head out the window at 65mph.
***note-no bugs were actually harmed during the creation of this blog post... not.***
Most of this land is dense ponderosa pine forests.  This is the mountain we ski on in the winter.
But on this northern end of the fire, the land can also open up into vast grass lands.  This is the high desert.  Lots of cattle and sheep too.
Reports are that the wildlife is disoriented by the fire and smoke.  We happened across this elk in the road.
Then we came over this little hill and saw the layer of smoke, so striking against the blue sky.
It's amazing how the highway acts as a barrier and stopped the fire from progressing across.  Notice the char only on the right side, but not on the left.
In many places we could still see the smoke rising off the land.
X-diamond Ranch is one of our favorite places to visit.   It's a few miles down the road, back in a canyon.
Despite all this charred earth, I've heard that X-Diamond Ranch is ok... thankfully.  And this is a sign that they left to express their gratitude.
And this is the little town of Eager, still sitting under a thick blanket of smoke.  It was evacuated for a long while, but now it's residents are back home.
Thank you thank you thank you fire fighters and hot shots that work this truly dirty, backbreaking work.  Thankfully the damage to homes has been limited and injuries have been few.  Prayers, dear Lord, that it stays that way.

PS---The blog is due for a makeover.  New format.  New colors.  Just new.  Any suggestions????

5 comments:

  1. don't know why, but the pics of those thank you signs got me all choked up. so sorry about all that going on over your way...glad you are safe

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  2. Such a terrible thing. I'm glad that they seem to be getting it under control. I'm praying for all the families out there that have to suffer through this.

    Gorgeous photos as always, very touching.

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  3. I would add a little more color to your bloggy. You do not seem like "black" with all your beatufiul photos!

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  4. God be with the firefighters and all the people and wildlife affected. We're outta NM in a week (moving), but I pray it's contained soon. Can't wait to see your new blog design!

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  5. Thanks so much for your commentary and pictures of the Springerville/Alpine areas. My wife and I live in SW WA and have ridden our motorcycle in this area several times. I'll never forget the first time we rode into Alpine from New Mexico; the visual impact of the trees and high meadows defied description. It truly is IMO the BEST part of the state of Arizona and near the top of the list for the most beautiful places -anywhere-. It's sad that this had to happen but it will come back. Pacific NW timber managers should take note! Prayers and best wishes to all who live in the area, as well as the firefighters who're combatting the Wallows fire.

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