Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wallow Wildfire Update

My girls and I are still in Phoenix while Jeff is at home. I miss him. He will be at work
during the day. I'm glad. That will keep him out of the smoke. It has been much worse today.
Yesterday the smoke at the house was not quite as bad. Though he continued to wear his
respirator as he worked outside.

This morning he told me that he was awakened at about 2:00 am
smelling smoke. The wind is blowing today and that has made the smoke much


June 4, 2011. NOAA

This map shows smoke created by wildfires. Fires are the red dots, while the smoke is
green (thin), yellow (moderately dense), and purple (dense). The Wallow fire in southeast
Arizona is responsible for much of the smoke in the central United States.


Over the weekend, Jeff was weed eating as much as possible around the house. Here,
where we live there is so much dead grass. It creates a big job.

I am on the computer almost constantly looking for updates. It was a bit overwhelming today.
I finally broke down and cried. I've been dwelling on this a little too much. It's difficult not to.
I sent the girls to Angie and Michael's to spend the night.

At the last update the fire had burned 233,520. I'm sure it's more now because the
conditions are very windy today. We have also been told that the updates are always

Though crews are working very hard to keep us updated, the fire moves so quickly
at times, it's impossible to be up to the hour accurate. We appreciate how hard these
professionals are working to bring us reports of the fire's advancements.
Thank you all so much!

It has spread as much as 8 miles per day. One of the reasons that it is moving so rapidly
is because of the amount of dead/down dry fuel on the forest floor. Statistics say that there
are approximately 50 tons of debris per acre in the heavily wooded areas.

Last I heard, it was said to be approximately 6 miles from Springerville-
Eagar. Infra-red devices are used to determine size and distance.

At the June 6th community meeting, officials clearly mapped out the current fire status. While
drawing markings on the map, they illustrated the fact that Round Valley (Eagar and Springerville)
are in the direct path of the advancing fire.


~Morning of 6/7~

It is 4:00 am. I couldn't sleep. I have been online again. I came across this video. It highlights
Greer and Round Valley residents. Please continue to pray. So many are afraid and so very
grieved about their homes and community.

Before I went to bed there was a rumor that Spr.- Eagar had been told to
evacuate. (Though we are under pre-evacuation notice, the official order has not been
given yet. That I know of. )I woke up wondering what Jeff might be doing and if he HAD
been told to leave. I was thinking about all the things he had to do to prepare the animals
and valuables.

Jeff is not going to work today. He wants to be at the the house to keep watch.
Our neighbor owns a back hoe and he has graciously offered to come and scratch a fire line
behind the house between us and the forest.

There has been so much of that. Neighbor helping neighbor.

_____________________________Our property borders the national forest. That
puts us at a bit of a disadvantage. [It's sometimes interesting how the things you love
the most can work against you in certain circumstances.]

{ We are so grateful for all those who are putting themselves at risk and
sacrificing to protect our community. Fire crews from around the nation are being
flown into help. Some as far away as New York. Governor, Jan Brewer, has been
considering calling in the National Guard to assist in the battle. }

The wind has been blowing 30-40 miles/ hour with gusts up to 50. Embers have been
blown as far as 4 miles ahead. This is causing a problem with spot fires.

There is a Red Flag Warning issued for today from 11:00 am  to 8:00 pm. This means no
open fires. 

Here are two fire maps released today, JUNE 7TH, 2011.

                                              Sgt. Stein, Marine Meteorologist

                                                 7 June 2011 - 0955 hours


10:00 am

I just talked with Jeff. They have not been evacuated yet. He and the neighbor were able
to dig the fire line in the field with a back hoe.

The fire is now 330,000 acres plus.. and is about 6 miles or less from our home.

A fire line is being dug about 1 mile from our home at a trail head... which means the fire is a
few miles away yet..possibly up to 5.

There are 40 tanker crews prepared to protect the structures in town.

This photo was taken last night (June 6th) just south of Nelson's Reservoir
which is about 7 miles south of our home.

View from Green's Peak at dusk on the evening of June 6, 2011.

Main street of St. Johns June 6th, 2011
Fire viewed from Sipe's Wildlife Refuge~


These other photos are random shots throughout the past week.

All of the above photos were found online. I did not take them.

                         Here are some photos that I took before I left town on Saturday, June 4th.

                            This photo was taken in the morning. The smoke wasn't too bad yet.

This photo, along with the rest were taken in mid-afternoon.
You can see how the color of the atmosphere had changed because of the
thickened smoke.
 It's very eery looking.

The sun~


As I was leaving town, I drove by the high school where they have been having
community meetings. I grabbed a quick shot of this ABC news van from Phoenix.
There were three other media vehicles in the parking lot. The meetings have been
 averaging around 1,000 people in attendance.

The Round Valley community consists of Eagar and Springerville. Approximately
6,000 people reside here. This does not include all the smaller little gatherings of homes
around the outskirts and in the mountains.

Jeff is still at home working very hard to do what he can to protect our home. We have
been instructed to take small propane bottles with us.

The animals are ready to go. The house is prepped as much as possible. We do expect
an evacuation order within the day. And so we wait. He will be going to St. Johns to stay
with family.

We don't expect the fire to come sweeping through our place. It could do a bit of damage
to our property, but we are hopeful that our home will stand. It has a metal roof with
vinyl siding and few trees CLOSE to the structure. Our big storage building may be at risk.
But the building is very old and there is nothing of great value in it. And we are safe.
For that we thank God~

It's the others who have been devastated and the beautiful mountain wilderness that we
grieve for.

Again, we want to express our deepest gratitude to those who are putting themselves
at risk and sacrificing so much to protect our lives, homes and community. Thank you
and we continue to pray for you and those directing this operation.

What wisdom, skill and knowledge it must take to administer in the midst of a disaster
of this magnitude.

We pray also for those that have experienced loss in this great tragedy.

Thank you all so much for your loving support and prayers. It is so comforting and
encouraging to know that so many are praying. Please continue; we are not in the
clear yet.

For updates and live video feeds of the town meetings go to http://www.wallow.us/

Jeff just notice from the sheriff's dept. of official evacuation. 4:30 pm June 7th, 2011.
He's loading up the animals and leaving. Everyone south of 260 (Central) ONLY.

No comments: