Sunday, June 26, 2011

Too Close to Home

Most of you have heard about the Wildfires that have plauged Arizona. The Wallow fire has made headlines all over the world for being the larges wildfire in Arizona history. When you hear about disasters in the news they rarely affect you personally.
Sunday afternoon, a few hours after the fire started
The Wallow fire isn't the only fire burning in Arizona. In Southern Arizona we have two wildfires burning, the Horseshoe Two fire and the Monument fire. The Horseshoe fire has been burning for a few months now. Not threatening many homes or structures. The Monument fire started Sunday June 12th. It started on the Arizona/ Mexico boarder, just a few miles from my home. That first night it almost looked like they were going to keep it under control. I woke up Monday morning with a faint smell of smoke in my home, it alarmed me and then I remembered the wildfire. As the week progress the fire came closer and closer destroying 40 homes on the way toward my house and raging over the mountains. Wen. night I had a number of friends given mandatory evacuations. I offered my guest room to one of them, her response was that they were going to go all the way to town and not take the chance of needing to be evacuated again. That was a fair point. With the way the fire was moving, it looked like my neighborhood was going to be evacuated too. I am grateful I already had plans to go up to see my family in Phoenix. Because of the preparations I needed to make so that if we were unable to come home I had the important stuff (ie: documents, photos, computers, guns), it took me a few extra hours to leave the house on Thursday. Thursday morning while I was getting ready to go, our neighborhood was put on pre-evacuation status. My neighbor's son asked when that would mean we'd have to go. I explained that our friends were where evacuated on Wen. were put on Evacuation status Monday night. So it could mean anything, a few days from now or as little as a few hours. I left for Phoenix around 2pm, at 4:30 my neighborhood was put under mandatory evacuation. When I say that I'm grateful, I'm grateful that was already where my mindset was. Sure it took me longer than planed to pack up my family for what was going to be a simple trip up to Mesa. But in my state, expecting twins and having a toddler with my husband deployed, if that hadn't been the plan I think it would have been too much stress for me.
fire moving closer, was in Miller Canyon
The whole time I was in Mesa I couldn't keep myself off the computer. There was a community facebook page started called "Monument Fire az" that I was on all the time. That along with the city of Sierra Vista web site, and the SV Herald's site. It was so addictive, and it was so scary as that fire crept closer and closer to my home. I hadn't taken much with us. Only what we needed and what I felt we couldn't have replaced by our insurance. Reports of more homes and structures gone. Photos emerged on facebook where the smoke engulfing our neighborhood. I knew the firefighters were doing everything they could to save homes. It was out of my hands and I just had to trust Heavenly Father that He knows what will be best for our family and what we can handle.  
the smoke is over my neighborhood
In the end our home was one of the lucky ones, no homes in our neighborhood were lost. It is sad and scary to see how close around our neighborhood the fire came. We came home yesterday (Saturday). The power had been out in our house for days. So we had to throw away everything in our freezers and fridge. But at least we still have a home. Our home didn't smell as much like smoke as some of our friends and neighbors have reported. 
across the HWY from our neighborhood
I am grateful to be home and for those who are fighting fires so that we didn't loose our home and that so many of the homes in our community were saved. I am grateful that it is behind us now. A scary time in a quite town. We have friends that were not as lucky. There are over 60 homes in our community gone. Also there are two restaurants (in an area with 3 restaurants and a post office), that are gone, some of the walls barely remain. All in all its sad to see the damage.  It will be a long time before our community recovers. I was all just too close to home.

One last thing I have a great ward and support system around here. Half my ward called me or came by before or after the evacuation to make sure I was okay. I had 2 of my husband's former co-workers contact to me to see how I was. I had multiple messages on facebook from family and friends worried about our situation. I felt very watched over.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I'm so glad you are safe at home. As you know, New Mexico is burning up as well. I'm pretty tired of breathing smoke. :o/