The Donaldson Fire at Hondo


This evening The Pink Flamingo had a call about 8:30PM that all you know what was breaking lose.  Thanks to Josie and James, I finally realized that it was the inferno.  Scott, Alicia, and Sydney beat me down to the house.  I knew Maggie was there, so I went on down to Hondo to see what was going on.  (local radio report)

Hondo, NM

Somehow the fire managed to gut Alamo Canyon, where my parents have 2000 acres for sale.  I guess it’s a fire sale now!   It started to cross the Rio Hondo (nothing in it right now – unfortunately) right near the Hondo School where they were evacuating everyone!

My mother’s friend, Rosa, lies about a block or so from where the fire broke down the canyon.  I felt like a jerk pulling up in the Hondo Post Office parking lot (like every other yahoo taking photos).  I saw her house, and just called my mother, “Start praying for Rosa!”.  I gather her house is okay.

If you listen to the radio clip,  you will learn that the fire line jump was a total shock.  When I talked to Jennifer Myslivy, PIO, for the fire fighting team, this was not in the cards.  I talked to her about an hour before this happened.

Evidently this was not to happen.

Earlier in the day, the third lightning strike fire merged, creating something like a 50,000+ acre monster.  Hondo is about 5 miles or so from the parents’ house.  They are between the river and Hwy 70.  The fire has not topped the ridge behind them, where they are.  There is a nice rosy glow.  As I left home, I saw where it had topped the ridge between San Patricio and Glencoe.

They say the fire has been put “to bed” until tomorrow.  Tomorrow afternoon is going to be crunch time.  Alicia is spending the night with the parents tonight.  I’ll go back down in the morning.  Alicia and Scott have taken almost all the pictures off the wall.  The parents’ car is loaded with the usual things.  Tomorrow, if it looks like the fire is getting closer, I’ll get the old photos and things into the Durango.  I also need to line up a truck and some people to help move the antiques out of the house to safety.

With luck, some time tomorrow, their yard will turn pink from slurry.  One good thing is the parents’ get their irrigation water (if there is any) tomorrow morning.  If it can flood the orchard, that will help, even more.

We need some prayer –
Homes will be saved
And – for my parents

About midnight, after Alicia and Scott left, my father was starting to get “fuzzy” as I call it.  He was tired.  He did not quite focus on what was happening.  If they lose the house, he will not survive.  I don’t know  how well my mother will do.  He’s now 87, with a little asthma.  The medication for Alzheimer’s is working quite well, but I don’t know how well he can handle a disaster.  My poor mother is exhausted.  She has a very serious heart condition.  Neither one of them need to be outside.

Funny thing, the smoke seems to be worse here in town.

This is turning to a monster fire.  All the media can focus on is Los Alamos.  There are those who suspect all the good resources are up north, fighting that fire, because all the media is there.   They are sending out messages from Los Alamos constantly – but ignoring what is going on here.