177,000 Acre Wildfire Still Closing In, Sprinklers Almost Ready
Whitewater/Baldy Complex Fire Update
The Northwest Edge of the Blaze Now Approx. 6 Miles From our Land, School, Home…
177,000 Acres and Climbing – Now The Largest Fire Ever in Recorded New Mexico History
The latest IR (Infrared) map was released showing the closest hot spots twice as close to us as yesterday. It is our belief that these are backfires lit by the USFS fire teams to reduce the fuel load between the north end of the main fire and the are around us and the village of Reserve. It seems crazy to release a map showing scary westwards spread without marking it as deliberate backfires if so.
Whether backfires or simply fire spread, the forecast was for winds to blow towards to the northeast today and they did quite the opposite, blowing at a speed of 10 to 20mph from out of the northeast and towards us southwest of the fire’s tip.
Latest Map – Night of May 28/29
Below is the latest Infrared map, showing scary new growth to the west and towards us from at the most northernmost tip of the fire, with some of that likely being backfires set to slow the fire’s advance towards the village of Reserve and our nearby Anima Sanctuary. When the winds blow towards the northeast, this is an especially workable strategy. But whenever east and northeast winds blow towards the west or southwest, we’re still in immediate danger from the spread.
Friends in Nearby Mogollon Safe So Far
The dozen or so folks we know in the are of the old “ghost town” of Mogollon south of us, have so far been spared thanks to the successful use of backfiring and the structure protection put in place there by the crews. Fire fighting equipment has been set up to protect the structures belonging to our TWHC Sponsors and dear friends from Super Salve Herbal Skin Care company, and we are wishing extra hard for their home and business to be spared.
Trail Boss Working Hard on Cabin Protection
Our friend and conference staff “Trail Boss” is back today busting butt on the plumbing for the sprinkler system Daniel devised to protect our humble school/home structures, and Dan should be back from family difficulties in Oregon, in time to be more help before any flames could reach here. At least 20 sprinkler heads will be pointing at our main cabins, and if they work, will provide the best protection they could come up. Ideally we will get dirt over the plastic feed pipes, so that falling embers won’t melt them and defeat the system.
The Frequency and Causes of MegaFires
The huge and hugely destructive “crown” fires that we increasingly see in the West, are certainly triggered by the droughts and affected by Global Warming. That said, there have been repeated hot and dry periods throughout the life of the planet, and now tree ring analysis shows that even during the driest times in the past there were still less destructive fires than those we are experiencing these days. The reasons the scientists cite are human activities, including centuries of livestock grazing and fire suppression. Prior to civilized human activity in the Southwest, fires were frequent but of low intensity, with mature trees usually surviving, and the soil undamaged. To read a fascinating synopsis of the most recent research using tree ring analysis, check out this link:
We have 2 or 3 WOOF homestead volunteers due to arrive here between the 28th of May and the 26th of June. We are making sure that they are kept appraised of the situation here, but will welcome help from any who show. If we need to evacuate at some point, their assistance could make a huge difference. If it passes by us as we hope, we will be continuing with our vegetable cold frames, wildcrafting and other projects with their help. And if the unthinkable happen now or in future Summers, the aide of WOOFers and our many herbal community friends will prove vital.
Smoke from this awful fire has only been affecting us early in the morning so far, thanks to conditions. On some days it has been thick down here from about 3 A.M. until 11 A.M., but so far it has fortunately cleared off for the rest of the day and night… making it harder for people in Socorro, Albuquerque and Las Cruces to breathe but sparing us.
We still don’t “sense” that the canyon will burn, but if it looks like it will, we have our plans in place as to what to do. Lists have already been made as to what to take in the first, second and third trips out, and things are already being sorted just in case. If we find that it is wise to evacuate at any point, we will be asking for volunteers from Silver City and Albuquerque to assist. There would be sufficient time to get the belonging most needed safely moved to another location. If fire comes through and our home survives, we will be moving right back in to resume the lifelong work of nurturing this wild land and affecting and helping heal our culture from this always special place.
Fire Fund & Materials Progress
There have been close to ten donations so far to the Anima Fire Fund, enough so far to pay for the last of the pipe we needed and 2 high pressure fire hoses. This will hopefully be enough to make the basic system function.
We next need to have a small trailer built up and outfitted with the water pump, and get an auxiliary fuel tank so that the pump will run longer and keep the sprinklers going longer after our possible evacuation. If there are funds available above that, we want to purchase the fire resistant foil wrap to cover the Gifting and Gaia Lodges that have no sprinklers to protect them, cabins much cherished by our Retreat guests and helpers.
Contributions are being accepted for further fire protection needs, or to rebuild if we burn. To contribute to the Anima Fire Fund, either send a postal money order in any amount to:
PO Box 688, Reserve, NM 87830
or make a PayPal instant payment by going to:
Enter the amount as a personal “gift” and send to “Shannon Bell” (A.K.A. Kiva Rose!):
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Categories: Announcements & Updates