Fire on Rt. 92 Today

Driving home from Hereford, Arizona this afternoon, we saw thick gray smoke ahead. It was very windy. Within a minute we saw brush on fire. A border patrol truck was right in front of us and he stopped, and soon we saw sheriffs’ cars. Fires are often started around here by cigarettes or firecrackers and quickly burn out of control.

The fire was growing by the minute, it looked like about 100 ft. of roadside.

Fire on Rt. 92 near Hereford


19 responses to “Fire on Rt. 92 Today

  1. In that dry-brush country, fires surely must spread in a split second.

  2. They can and do. I don’t see how this fire could have started by itself. It was probably caught early enough, but sometimes thousands of acres burn before they can be contained. You’ll see areas of blackened trees for miles and miles. You probably saw that in NM too.

  3. Hi Debra,

    Do you have any precautions to help protect your homes from these fires? Do you clear brush away for a safe distance for example?

    Interesting post. Just a bit disconcerting to think they start that frequently and easily if you may be in danger.

    – Bob

  4. Hi Quidmont, we’re all supposed to keep our homes “defensible” by clearing brush. But everything is so dry here, and it’s windy, so once a fire starts it’s very hard to put out. Houses can be destroyed by the time the fire dept. arrives. It just happened to a big restaurant in Tombstone and all they could do was save surrounding buildings.

    • I’m in the very south of Ontario Canada. The furthest point south in Ontario is the same latitude as the furthest point north in California. So we don’t have the dry brush like you do. We seldom even get forest fires this far south though it does happen.

      Still, when you go a little north of Toronto, just to where there is no longer public water available and each home is on a well, almost every home has it’s own, personal, man-made lake.

      Admittedly these are nice homes on big lots. But when we questioned we were told that it lowers the insurance on the house to have a body of water of a certain size available in case of fire. Sort of like living within fire-hose distance of a hydrant in the city.

      I don’t know if a “lake/pond” would work for you. But have you considered putting in a holding tank and tower to store water? In an emergency you could just open the valves and let gravity provide the pressure to help fight the blaze.

      For what it’s worth. πŸ™‚

      – Bob

      • Quidmont, we have nothing so practical here. (The only water tanks I see here are for cattle.) Something like that might work if caught immediately.

        There was another fire yesterday in Sierra Vista, about 30 miles from here. A couple was having a yard sale and a man came to browse. He flicked his cigar ash. He left. The owners went inside and didn’t notice their yard was on fire for a few minutes. By the time the fire dept. arrived and put it out, an acre had burned.

        We are supposed to be careful where we park, too, as the heat from underneath a car’s engine can ignite brush. The vigilant are jumpy.

  5. Whoah – it’s frightening how quickly these can spread. One minute you think you’re okay, the next you can be in real danger. Sad to think it may have been caused by human negligence, or worse, intent.

    • @screen scribbla – You’d be surprised the number of fires started by intent. Or not, if you understand humans.

      Do you recall the name of Terry Barton and the famous Colorado fire of 2002? First she claimed she came upon a smoldering campfire. Then she claimed that she’d accidentally started the blaze after burning a letter from her estranged husband. Both lies. She’d started it intentionally. The Hayman fire became the largest in Colorado’s history. Burned 133 homes, forced thousands to evacuate, killed wildlife in untold numbers and destroyed some 140,000 acres.

      She was fined 14.6 million by the feds, spent some time locked up and eventually got out on probation.

      Best part of the story? — if there is a best part? She was a federal firefighter!

      Moral of the story: Put nothing past human beings. Bad intent is everywhere!

  6. Just forging my way through this blogging thicket and stumbled upon (to reclaim the site’s verbiage) your blog. You write the way I think, so there must be some kismet connection. Who knows? We are just specks of existential dust, after all. Blow me, I say. Blow me. I hope you take that in the most literal way possible, as my soul speaking to the wind and not through some nefarious filter. Write on . . .

    • namichete, OK I’m intrigued. I found your blog but not through this link. I read it all. You write not nearly often enough, your readers and fellow fragments will request updates. How ’bout it?

      • Creativity seems hampered by stress and anxiety. I often find myself blocked and when the moment strikes, it is less than opportune. Stagnation and inconsistency ensue . . . any suggestions to lend from an experienced hand?

  7. We’re on high alert for brush fires in Texas today.

    Hey, you’re on the front page. Thrice:

    I told you you’d get there.

    • OMG Stephanie!

      I have my name on the editorial staff page of many reference books, but that’s nothing compared to this! I never would have known if you didn’t tell me. I am so buzzed. Still broke and miserable—but buzzed all the same. Thanks!

  8. Fire can be immensely scary. I have witnessed forest fires in northern Quebec that have burned tens of thousands of acres. These are frequently caused by lightning, but also some are human caused as well.

    Interestingly many plant communities rely on natural fire to carry on. This tells us that fire has been a natural event for millions of years. Not comforting if you are near a fire, no doubt, but somewhat interesting when you think of fire as being in the category as tornadoes and hurricanes.

    Being reminded of the fragility of life is always important. For me it helps me appreciate the moment. Thank you.

  9. Bill, so how do you know when a fire is beneficial and not just mass destruction? What is the tipping point? If it didn’t threaten homes, would fire be considered advantageous? Then it wouldn’t matter if the fire was caused by an act of nature or an act of human stupidity, right? How on earth can a value be put on the effects of a forest fire? I don’t get it.

  10. Before humans started controlling fire they ran rampant over large parts of the natural systems of our planet. For example, mature forests that burned yielded to lush grasses, sedges, shrubs and saplings. This made for good forage for rabbits, rodents, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Predators were able to take advantage of these species and flourished as well.

    Diversity in plant communities (which result from fire) means more plants and more animals. When we control fire in natural areas it limits species diversity, which limits genetic stock. It’s pretty complicated, but is an important part of natural selection.

    That’s not to say that it isn’t a threat to humans and human endeavors. But it is no different than other natural disasters. Evolution has helped the planet evolve to deal with these disasters and they have become part of the natural landscape.

  11. So the famous Hayman fire in CO that “killed wildlife in untold numbers and destroyed some 140,000 acres” was a good thing, and the only reason to put it out was threat to humans. So basically animal and plant life that die in fire are a necessary sacrifice.

    I know that theoretically this is true, but it’s hard to wrap your mind around it also being justifiable. Left unchecked, it could actually wipe out a species with a limited comfort zone.

    If fires, earthquakes, floods, etc., are natural and beneficial, then humans seem to be on the wrong planet. Just curious, how would you feel about the woods you dearly love burning to the ground? (If it didn’t threaten your cabin.) I guess it’s only our human perception that’s in error. Yet we are part of evolution too.

  12. Your points are well taken. It is difficult to separate our feelings from what is otherwise know as natural selection.

    In the big picture, we humans have done far more harm than good for this planet. In my opinion there is no doubt about this. This planet has an ebb and flow that is little understood. A unique balance that is almost incomprehensible.

    How would I feel about the woods that surrounds me being wiped out. Go to my website and and read “Ice in the Forest”, “One Year Later” and “Two Years After” and you’ll see. In the great ice storm of 2008 we lost tens of thousands of trees. Much of the forest was flattened. I’ve been there and done that.

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