Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Wallow Wildfire.. Awakened by the Smoke

“Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the
majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, LORD,
is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all.

1 Chronicles 29:11

It is 4:15 am and this is the third time this morning that I have been awakened by
the smoke. My throat is scratchy and dry; my nose is burning from the smoke that has crept
 into the house during the night. I wonder if anyone else in the house 
is smelling the smoke. Everyone seems ok. I wonder about our animals outside;
 we have two goats, a dog and a rabbit outside.

As I am writing this, our home is hidden in a cloud of white.

As dawn is breaking, the mountain located behind our home is hidden from
view by the fog-like smoke. It stands tall beyond
the line of trees.


Across from the rodeo grounds~
(Notice the blackened sky in the background.)

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 29 the fourth largest wildfire in Az. history began. It
is reported that a camper left a fire unattended in the Bear Wallow Wilderness
Area. Read more about the beautiful, remote Bear Wallow Wilderness and see
detailed maps Here  Search Az. Wilderness Areas for Bear Wallow.

Jeff and I went back packing there near Bobcat Creek in our earlier years of marriage.
It was one of the most beautiful spots in wild Arizona. I am so glad that we have slides to
remember it by. They are some of our fondest backpacking memories of one of our favorite

                                                                   Trail Sign

It ws SO beautiful and peaceful.

I will never forget the tranquility of the forest ~

It will never be the same in our lifetime.. or the lifetimes of our children.

The latest update on was 6 hours ago. The size at that time was
120,600 acres burned. There is a crew of 1,089 on the fire and the cost to the state of Az.
thus far is said to be over $3,000,000.

The mountain communities of Alpine and Nutrioso have been evacuated. The tourist
community of Greer is now on evacuation alert. We could be next. We are thanking God
that there have been no reports of injuries or deaths.

The local rodeo grounds and that of Show Low, located 45 miles away are being used
as safe havens for evacuated livestock. Pet shops and rescue shelters are taking in cats, dogs
and small caged animals such as hamsters, lizards and birds. (We stopped by the Animal
Rescue Thrift Store yesterday to drop off a bag of cat food and they are in desperate
need of cat and dog food donations.)


A helitanker used to fight fires~


Photos from our front porch taken north to south~

These were taken yesterday. As we were outside in the yard,
quarter size pieces of thick ashes were falling from the sky.
All around on the ground and porch were charred pine needles that the
winds had carried in.

Northeast toward town~

Our field and corner of the goat pen~

The mountain behind the house~

The helitankers are VERY loud so I was able to run out
and grab a quick shot as it made one of it's trips
over the house. We think they're re-fueling at the municipal

The smoke at our home has come and gone for the past several days.
At times we have had to keep the doors and windows shut up tight.
We keep the fans running and most of the animals inside.
The rabbit comes in at times to give her a break from the smoke.

Each day the mornings seem to be a little worse as the fire draws a little closer.
As the day progresses and the wind picks up, it clears.

Just a little bit of an inconvenience compared to what others have had to endure this
spring with tornadoes and floods. Now there are those who have had to be evacuated
 from their homes. Jeff and I spoke to a gentleman yesterday who just moved here
 in March. He and his wife had 30 minutes to collect their precious belongings and
 vacate their home.

We have family who had to evacuate. They are in the process of building a
 beautiful home and hunting lodge. Their horses had to be trailered and


This spring has been one of counting our blessings as we have watched in
unbelief and dismay at the disasters that have brought so much destruction.

We look to God, who is the only stay in our life. It is only He that
 can offer us any hope. Our circumstances change in a matter of minutes.
In the midst of unsettling times, He is our peace.

He will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon thee,
 because he trusts in Thee.
Isaiah 26:3

                            He is our help and our refuge in the midst of turmoil. Psalm 46:1


The smoke is growing thicker and the sun
is obscured. It is 12:30 in the afternoon and we have to turn the
 lights on in the house to see.

The girls and I are packing to go to Phoenix.
Jeff is outside moving the woodpiles away from the house and the
propane tank.

I wasn't done with this post.
I have more photos and details but I have to go.
They have called us to a state of pre-evacuation preparedness.
I will update more in a few days.

Thank you for your prayers.

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