Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monument Fire 6/15-6/16

WEDNESDAY (about 3 p.m.)

This picture was taken at my parent's home while I was standing in their driveway. I was grabbing last minute items while talking to my sister on the phone when the evacuation sirens went off. It was a very chilling sound when the police cars were going through the neighborhood telling everyone to leave. My mom and dad are in Las Vegas for my dad's work conference he has every year. They left this morning around 6 a.m. Luckily they had been on pre-evacuation ahead of time on Tuesday to pack some valuables and store them in my house. But when my mom remembered a few more things I drove up to get them on Wednesday. Then I called my sister and my brother to see if they wanted anything else out that we didn't get on Tuesday. That's why I was up there when the evacuation took place. The fire was on its way to the top of Miller Peak by the end of Wednesday. Which is that point you see.
Wednesday update from the incident management team:
The fire had spread over 9,300 acres and it was 17% contained. We have 536 people assigned to the fire, including 13 crews, 40 engines and 5 helicopters.
Activity; Crews constructed lines behind homes on the eastern side of the fire north to Miller Canyon. Crews mopped up hotspots where the fire crossed Highway 92. Helicopters and air tankers dropped water and retardant to help slow the fire. Crews constructed line and completed burnout operations in the vicinity of Coronado National Memorial. Cochise County Sheriff's Office assessed damage to homes and outbuildings in Ash Canyon.
My heart goes out to a lot of my friends who had lost their homes on Tuesday. Thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

THURSDAY (afternoon)

The fire reached Miller Peak around the afternoon. It had gotten surprisingly bigger...

not too long after it jumped across the highway from Stump Canyon. Amazingly no homes were damaged on that side today. In this picture you can see the green sign that says Miller Canyon Road which is where my parent's (where I grew up) home is to the right and across from that house you see there.

According to incident management team:

Thursday's plan: Due to extreme dry fuel conditions, high winds, and single digit relative humidity, a Red Flag Warning is in effect. Firefighters and fire engines are prepared for extreme fire activity. Additional firefighting resources will join the night shift. Crews will finish the mop up east of Highway 92, and reposition to the Miller Canyon area. A structure protection group will continue to look for potential fire danger north towards Ramsey Canyon, developing protection plans for homes. Crews will work to hold the fire along Forest Road 61 on the southern edge of the fire.

This is what the mountain looked like as the sun was going down Thursday night.

Another night shot of Hunter-Miller canyons on fire.
Total acres Thursday: 11,600 and 17% contained
Thursday we had 800 people assigned to the fire. (no one hurt :0)

Monsoon season officially started Wednesday June 15. The forecast is saying they are not seeing any signs of rain until end of July. Pray for the rain to come early this season. Officials are saying this fire will not completely go out unless it rains. There are at least 4 other wildfires burning in the state of Arizona. My heart goes out to everyone. I have pictures from Sunday-Tuesday from our fire as well, but for some reason they aren't loading on to blogger. So I'll just write the details. Sunday; the fire was started in the Coronado National Park. The forest was closed due to extreme fire danger and there was a fine if you trespassed. Jail time and money. Miller Canyon was also closed due to extreme weather conditions as well as many other canyons. We were on our way to my parent's house after church on Sunday and we always call my mom telling her we are on our way. The first thing she said was just tell them you live here and they will let you up. I was very confused until we turned towards the mountain and saw smoke rising fast. At that point it was a lot smaller. Then on Monday the fire had spread farther, not too much, and more people started evacuating. The fire was at 0% contained Sunday and Monday. Then Tuesday it took a suprising turn and spread all the way through Ash Canyon and jumped the highway causing more damage. I had just put Jordan down for a nap when I looked outside and it looked like a warzone. It was a huge explosion because it had hit structures. It had shocked even the firefighters that it had done that. Then after that I went to my parents place to help them pre-evacuate and store things in my home. They stayed with us Tuesday night and that's when they left early Wednesday morning for my dad's conference. We also have the dog with us. Poor Chase he is very stressed out that he isn't in his beautiful yard. Hopefully he will be able to go back to it. I'll keep posting updates once I find out more.

Prayers go out to all who have lost homes, pets and also to the firefighters and officials who are working day and night. Thank you for all you do!


Jana and Brett said...

still makes me sick to think it wasn't natural causes...dumb man/smuggler, I hope you burn. :0)

The Stone's Daily Grind said...

I can't believe all the fires! It breaks my heart for those who have loss homes/belongings. I feel so helpless that I can't be there to help do anything.
Is your parents house okay now?