Rain, Backfires, Friends, Prayers, and 90,000 Acres Burned

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There were two very important bits of news on Friday.  Sadie went home.  She was welcomed by a party of her closest friends.  Of less importance (according to Sadie), we had 1.5 inches of rain here in town.  There  was no rain where it was needed, but rain is rain. You take what you can get.

The parents had a dinner party with Mike and Josie, Alicia, Scott and Sydney, and Rumsfeld.  Of course everyone was celebrating Sadie’s homecoming.  The discussion before dinner was if it was good form to grill steaks when a major wild fire was blazing right down the road.

The steaks won.

Rumsfeld and Sadie celebrating.  Sadie decided to wear her Fourth of July party dress!

As of Saturday, 90,000 acres, and 140 square miles have been burned. This is the scene from Hwy 70, in Hondo, right across from the local gas station around 4PM.

My mother called earlier, quite concerned about the new kick up of smoke down the road from them, near Hondo.

Incident Informtion System

The Pink Flamingo finds this map very unhelpful.

NM Fire Info

On Friday, the NM version of the Glam Girls of the GOP declared Lincoln County a disaster area.

“...Gov. Susana Martinez was on hand Friday afternoon in Hondo when the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners declared the county a disaster area as the result of the nearly 80,000 acres consumed in the Donaldson Complex Fire.

The declaration opens the doors for receiving state grants that could cover up to 75 percent of the cost of fighting the lightning-sparked blaze that has been burning since Tuesday morning and is only considered 10 percent contained.

Control of the firefighting effort was assumed by New Mexico Type II Incident Commander John Pierson Friday morning, representing a step up on commitment by the state in terms of both manpower but resources as well.

Heavy overcast Friday afternoon resulted in heavy levels of smoke infiltrating into Ruidoso Downs and Ruidoso, reportedly sparking an onslaught of calls to emergency services, but also welcomed rain into the area.

As other fires throughout the state are coming under control, more assets are being allocated to the Donaldson Fire, including an air attack aircraft, a lead aircraft, four SEAT planes, four heavy tankers, a C-130 and a Type 2 and Type 3 helicopters.

More than 350 firefighters are battling the blaze on the ground, assisted by 19 engines, five dozers and four water tenders.

Higher humidity levels were expected to aid firefighters’ efforts to keep the fire east of FR 443, west of Picacho Road, south of U.S. Hwy 70 and north of Pine Tree Canyon.

The disaster declarations states that 80 structures are now considered threatened by the fire, which has already claimed six outbuildings and one home…”

One of the first things you learn during something like this is the value of prayer and friends.  Since Wednesday night, either Alicia or I stayed with my parents.  We left them alone about midnight on Friday night.  They were fine until about 2:30 or today, when the flames around Hondo kicked up.  I went down, checked out where they were, then took my father down to survey the fire and the damage.  It could have been so much worse.

Maggie was telling my mother this was the first time she can remember a major wild fire in the Valley (and she has lived there all her life).  We’ve all learned that there is very little reliable local news coverage.  Fortunately, The Pink Flamingo is not the only one complaining.  The fire in Los Alamos is getting all of the coverage.  Until Friday morning, there was not even a Type II team fighting the blaze.  Los Alamost has two Type I teams.  We are making do.  It’s not because of politics, but because the fire fighting resources in New Mexico are stretched so thin. This is one of the worst fire seasons on record.

There appears to be a containment around the parents’ mountains and those up toward Glencoe.

Please pray these containment lines hold.

Sadie was exhausted by the end of her party.  So were her parents.  So was everyone else.  Seriously, this thing has been very very hard on my 81 year old mother and 87 year old father.  Thus far, only 5 homes have been burned.  With prayer and luck those will be the only ones lost.

Please say a prayer for those who have lost their homes and for the firefighters.  They are remarkable!

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One thought on “Rain, Backfires, Friends, Prayers, and 90,000 Acres Burned

  1. I have been following the reports on the Donaldson fire along with the Las Conchas fire, which caused me to be evacuated until Sunday. You have my prayers. Happy Birthday to your kitty.

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