Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wallow Wildfire Update...Losses and Gains

(Officials have given a correction on the area burned. It is only 336,167. That is good news.)
The morning of June 9th.

WEDS June 8th  8:00 am 

As I sit here, there is fire raging around my town. I am not there. Our family has been
evacuated. The Wallow Wildfire in AZ. has wrapped it's fiery fingers around the small
mountain community of Round Valley.

There are so many details that one could focus on... it has burned close to 400,000 acres.
(Correction  336,167)

Not a part of it is contained... (surrounded and stopped.) It is out of control with no
end in sight.

9:00 Pm
I was out this afternoon. I had to get out for awhile. The girls and I went to Michael's
craft store with Angie. She's been so sweet and helpful.

We bought flowers for hair clips. I played with some of the little wind up toys. Silas had a 
cute little lady bug. He wound it up and it walks across the floor. It's interesting how you
want to do silly things when you're stressed.

Jeff called me at 4:50 to say that all of Round Valley had been evacuated.

People packed up and leaving town.


We heard that Greer was burning and that the fire-fighters had to abandon the area
because of endangerment. There is only one road out of Greer.


He and I have been reflecting on how powerfully God seems to be reminding
us that His truth the only thing that lasts. His mercy is all that can save us. He orders
our steps (Psalm 37:23) Sometimes we get scared because it's slow and we
can't see...but He can and He keeps our feet steady. We cannot depend on circumstances
of any kind to bring us peace, contentment or security.

In the face of a very unstable economic time, we can only look to God as our source.
His resources will never run out. The earth is His and all it's fullness.
He has to be the centre of all that we look to to meet our needs and to
bring us satisfaction. Though we find some happiness in our situations while living in
this world, they cannot be depended upon to keep us. They will never bring that inner
joy that only comes from a God that never changes.

I read this later in the evening.

PHOENIX - US Forest Service officials confirm the Wallow Fire has moved through
Greer, leaving behind unknown damages.

In an update issued at 9 p.m. Wednesday, officials said firefighters are on scene conducting
structure protection in the small eastern Arizona town.

Crews earlier had to be pulled back from the area because the fire was running
very hot and moving quickly towards the town, but re-evaluated and went back in
to fight the flames.

Allan Johnson, co-owner of Greer's popular Molly Butler Lodge, tells ABC15 he heard from
firefighters that there are reports that structures on the east fork of the Little Colorado
River and Wonderland Road have been lost or damaged in the spreading fire.

I read later at that Molly's and the structures on the west side of
the street were still standing.

I am so glad that historical restaurant is still standing. It was built in 1910. Last year they
celebrated their 100th anniversary of serving the White Mountains.

When Jeff and I first met, we enjoyed an evening by the fireplace at Molly's. After we
were married, we treated ourselves to the Feast for Two.(It's no longer on the menu.)
Lobster, steak, scallops served with garlic butter. I don't remember what else there was;
that was over 20 years ago.The cost was $50. We went for our anniversary celebration.
They serve the best Mud Pie and their Hot Dang Chili is delicious!)


My mind is racing all over the place.. I am trying to think about the information that I want
to keep here in this record.

Angie told me today that she is glad that I am putting all of this
together.. It will be here forever.. for our children and grandchildren. I want to do a good

They are sickened by the fire. thought the older ones don't live there anymore. It was where
we camped and played.. hiked.. went fishing..cut Christmas trees.. 
Two of the last three years we cut trees were in Greer. I remember this last December
climbing all over the rocks in Greer looking for the perfect tree. 

Our lovely tree.. Greer Arizona..
December 2010

I marvelled at a little bird that was playing the water. I was thinking that that water must have
been so cold. I was wondering how that little bird could stand that freezing water on his little
legs. You can see the beautiful little mountain stream to the right of Jeff.

The decorated tree~

My friends and family from back east are offering up so much prayer support.
Keeping in touch with them is encouraging and comforting.

Thursday June 9th, 2011

I slept well last night. The first 8 hours I have had in a week. I am very thankful.

This morning ..... It's been confirmed that Greer has been compromised.. I am not exactly sure
what that means.

The reported acreage burned is at 389,00; 607 square miles. Twice the size of Chicago.

(There is still a discrepancy about the size. Official report says 336,167. But we are still
hearing from a reliable source that it is in the 380s..I guess we will see.It doesn't matter
that much at this point.)

The morning is calm there so far. I think the winds are expected to be a little more
merciful today. Yesterday, it was very bad; 30-40 mph winds with gusts up to 60.
That is a firefighters nightmare.

Expected for today..

Winds between 10-15 MPH with gusts up to 25.


Update for June 9th
From New Mexico Fire Information

Date Started: 5/29/2011 Number of Personnel: Approximately 1,943

Location: south and west of Alpine, Arizona Including 23 hotshot crews and 27 handcrews

Cause: Human – under investigation Equipment: 9 dozers, 119 engines, 26 watertenders

Size: 336,167  acres Aircraft: 14 helicopters

Percent Contained: 0% Injuries to Date: none

Structures: 588 threatened; 1 damaged; 11 lost

Ø Media should call 480-331-9554 to coordinate interviews.
Road Closures

•State Route 260 is now closed in both directions east of the Hawley Lake turnoff (State Route 473 junction) and Eager.

•US Highway 60 is now closed in both directions at the NM/AZ state line.

(We live about 10 miles from the NM state line.)
It is official. Governor, Jan Brewer has called upon the Nationl Guard to help battle
this monster.
A DC-10 was flown into the area with hopes that it can be utilized in assisting
the efforts to protect and control.

Wow.. What amazing aircraft..The innovations of man never cease to astound me.

About the DC-10~

Some good news..
 Winds down..10-15 mph. Gusts of 25.. No red flag warning.
Spot fires..1/2  to 3/4 miles ahead instead of 3 to 4 miles.
They are hoping to reach some point of containment.
Hopefully 1-2%. 

These are encouraging conditions. However, the concerns for today are that the wind is
somewhat erratic; the direction has changed and there is a possibility of the back burns
meeting with the main fire, therefore, diminishing the buffer that the crews have so skillfully
put into place. And though the winds are down the heat is up creating drier conditions.


Frequently Asked Questions

Question: When did the fire begin and how?
Answer: Fire officials believe an unattended campfire may have sparked the blaze

about 1:30 p.m. May 29.

Q: Where does the name "Wallow Fire" come from?
A: Fires are usually named after a feature near the start point. In this case,

Bear Wallow Wilderness is located in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests,
near where the fire was first reported.

Q: How many structures have been lost?
A: Forest Service officials say 11 structures have been lost to the fire.

Q: How many acres has the Wallow Fire burned?
A: More than 380,000 acres as of Tuesday.

( The new figure just released  by Jim Whittington is 336,167.)
Mr. Whittington is employed at the Bureau of Land Managemnt.

Q: Historically, what are Arizona's largest wildfires?
A: The largest fire in state history was the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, which charred
more than 468,000 acres in eastern Arizona. The second-largest was the Cave Creek
Complex Fire, which consumed more than 248,000 acres in 2005. The Wallow Fire
is the third-largest in state history, followed by the 2004 Willow Fire at 119,000 acres
and the still-burning Horseshoe Two Fire.

Q: What is a Type 1 Incident Management Team?
A: A Type 1 team consists of highly trained and experienced wildfire personnel, from
federal and state levels, specifically outfitted for wildland fires.

Q: What type of equipment is being used?
A: As of Tuesday, 2,140 fire personnel were on the ground, utilizing 8 bulldozers,

141 fire engines, 46 water tenders and 20 helicopters.

Q: What types of helicopters are being used?

A: There are three types of helicopters. The Type 1 is the heavy-lift helicopter
sometimes called a sky crane. It has the ability to dump up to 2,000 gallons of water.
Medium-sized helicopters can dump about 500 gallons. Light helicopters are used
to move supplies and keep an eye on the fire.

Q: What magnitude is the current evacuation?
A: Fire officials said the following communities have been evacuated: Springerville,

unrise, Greer, Blue River, Alpine, Nutrioso, Eagar, South Fork, Hannagan Meadow
Lodge, Sprucedale Guest Ranch, Brentwood Church Camp, Hannagan campground,
KP campground, West Fork Black River campground, East Fork Black River
campground, Escudilla Mountain Estates, Bonita, White Mtn. Acres, Dog Patch
and the H-V Ranch.

Q: Has anyone been injured?
A: No.


Video from 

 Earlier, there were some frightening shots of the inner fire as well as some encouraging news.
Though the situation is still very grave, today offers a little more hope
 than in the past week.

Wildlife Threatened
One of the most beautiful things about our area is the wild animals that
live here. We have seen many Bald Eagles. Some have been seen while
 driving down Mountain Ave. Others we have seen from our property.
There was a nest at Becker Lake.

Some of the other wildlife are elk, deer, antelope, mountain lions, coyotes, birds and
 fish of many species.  There are endangered or threatened animals including Mexican spotted owls 
and Mexican gray wolves. (The wolves were re-introduced to our area in 1998.)

 It's been reported that firefighters have seen no dead animals.
There are three packs of wolves and they have all been sighted
since the fire burned through their den areas. The pups have been seen
with the adults and the den areas are cooling.

Mexican Gray..SO Beautiful..

This has been one of the saddest thoughts for our family. We love the outdoors
so much and all of God's creations just fascinate us.

However, friends have given several hopeful accounts of elk and deer
 alongside the roads, in fields and even in people's yards. A pack of six Mexican grays
were seen running away from the fire. It's been good to hear that some are finding
a way out and seeking refuge in these open places that have not been touched.

This has been one of the saddest thoughts for me. I try not
to dwell on it but SO very many beautiful animals lost...
It's just heartbreaking~


The mountain community of Greer was a focal point yesteraday as the fire was very
hot through that heavily timbered area. Beautiful does not really describe this little
paradise tucked in the trees. It is known that 6 structures were lost. They are
thought to be homes. Channel 3 News June 9th, 2011.

Earlier, I watched a video of the Greer area. It was very grieving
to see the homes that were lost. Such a tragedy. We are so so very sorry
and our condolences and prayers go out to those who lost
their beautiful place in the mountains.

Though some lost so much, there is still a vast amount left.
I was surprised and blessed to discover that the majority of the little
 valley was still green and untouched.


It is 10:00 pm. I have learned that more homes and structures were lost today.
24 in all. Our hearts are so saddened by this news. These families
will be notified as soon as they can be contacted.

We lost our home to a fire in 2005.
It is a very difficult loss to go through. We were very blessed that we were able to salvage
much of our personal items. We pray that will be the case with some of these families.

With all the hard work put forth today and the help of the DC-10 tanker, much was
accomplished today. They achieved 5% containment in their efforts. This is great news!

Current Fire Map~

Intersection of Main Street and 60 facing north.

Intersection of Main and 60 facing south.

Smoke looms over Round Valley.
This evening, the firehead was 1 mile from Eagar.

Some of the brave men...exhausted...

Outskirts of town.
Beautiful stars~
(During our clear mountain nights we get ot see
a lot of shooting stars.)


The fire is very close..1 mile from Eagar. Fire lines are holding. There
are 5,242 structures still at risk. 
 There is more back burning to be done.
The area burned is 386,390. This is based on infra red tracking.

So much progress has been made.
 We will see what Friday holds for us.

Saturday is expected to be a repeat of high winds.

We can never express enough how grateful we are for so many who are giving their all
to save our community. It has taken such determination and sacrfice on the parts
of so many.

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