Wednesday, April 16, 2014


 Spring has been here for awhile now.  In fact, unlike many other parts of North America, we barely even had a winter.  It was one of our driest winters, less that 2 ft of snow fell at our elevation of about 7,000 ft and there has been hardly any spring rain.  A normal winter has around 100 inches of snow followed by some rain.  So, now we are very dry and windy and have extreme fire danger.  To top it off, in the past week or so it seems that there is an arsonist around Flagstaff that has been lighting forest fires.

One day in March, a time that usually still has snow cover, the boys and I went out for a hike.  The forest roads were still closed at this time, so people can't drive into the forest.  It was a Red Flag Warning day, which means it was super windy and dry with high fire danger.

 This is what we came up on in the middle of the forest.  Someone must have come out and made this fire and then left it very hot with lots of coals and embers.  Within a minute of me taking this picture flames came up from the wind blowing on the embers.  I had about 3 cups of water that I poured on it that put them out, but then I dialed 911.  In Arizona we've had devastating forest fires start from things like this.

It was quite a hassle getting the fire department out there.  I actually don't have a smart phone, so wasn't able to give them coordinates.  However, I knew where I was and I'm really good with maps, roads, and directions (former geologist), but I'll make a long story short and just say that the people I was stuck talking to were not.  Very frustrating, I hope I'm never hurt in the middle of the forest and have to give directions to be saved.  I do have a GPS and have started carrying it more.  As I was walking along a small road toward the main road to try and meet the fire truck I met a man who was also walking his dog.  He helped get them the coordinates and came back to the fire with me.

 When we walked up to the fire it was in flames again.  At this point we had been told to just cover it with rocks, so we kicked in the pit walls to cover it.

Finally the local fire department came and they uncovered it, dug it up and dowsed it.  This was about a mile from houses.  This week our national forests, county, and city put fire restrictions in place.  Yesterday I was so happy to see that a forest road that people camp along and that comes within 1/4 mile of my neighborhood, but has technically been closed for a few years, finally has signs saying it's closed.  Just need to block the road now.  It can be scary living next to the forest, but it's hard for me to imagine living somewhere that I can't step out and be in nature with the dogs.


Mr. Pip said...

Thank goodness you found that fire. How could anyone be so careless?


gyeong said...

What luck finding that fire. I didn't want to see it on the nightly news. Too bad they couldn't catch the person who started it. Hopefully they were just clueless, and not intentionally stupid. It is cold and windy here today. Waiting for real Spring to arrive.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for being persistent in your efforts to douse that fire!


houndstooth said...

I'm glad you came across it when you did! It always amazes me that people think the rules apply to everyone but them!

Michelle said...

So glad you found the fire and were able to get help to get it put out. I do hope it was not intentional. It can be scary living next to a forest. I hope you area gets some rain soon.

Beverly Familar said...

I live next to the foothills in So. California and it is scary during the summer months. You don't know what people (especially kids) will do. Since it's been an especially dry winter, there is TONS of kindle up in the mountains and foothills. It's gorgeous living in an area like this, but I'm more worried about wildfires than earthquakes!

So glad you found that fire. I hope that catch that arsonist and put that person in jail!