The Wallow Fire in the White Mountains of Arizona continues to rage out of control. I thought perhaps some of you would like a local perspective on this fire. To put it in a word, it is a Monster! We didn't think 9 years ago when we lived through another monster fire that it could ever be worse. We were wrong. This fire is raging in an area of heavy timber with no natural breaks to allow fire fighters to get a handle on it. To compound things we have been dealing with high swirling winds ever since it started on May 29th.
Several communities have been evacuated, two more just this evening. Now there are over 10,000 people who have been forced from their homes because of this massive wildfire. The air tankers have had to be grounded because of the winds but those are supposed to ease a bit tomorrow.
Tonight it was announced that they are bringing in a 747 slurry plane that can lay down up to a mile of slurry in one pass. Many have asked why they haven't brought them in before? Well, according to the Fire Fighters using slurry on a Ponderosa Pine fire is like spitting on a house fire. It just doesn't do any good. Now that the fire is beginning to move out of the tall pine forests on the North side they may be able to contain it because it is getting in to Pinion and Juniper Trees and open plains. Still, it is going to do little except perhaps protect property and structures, this monster will not be stopped by any force of man. There is only one thing that is going to help put out this fire and that is rain, lots and lots of rain.
It is sad to see all these gloreous forests going up in flames and all because of the carelessness of some camper who didn't put out their campfire when they left the area. They have not said that was the official cause but those of us who live here know that to be the truth. It happens every summer when out of town visitors come to visit our forests to escape the desert heat in the low lands and they think a cooler of ice and a gallon of water will put out a campfire. Then off they go on their merry way without another thought for the dangerous situation they left behind.
The forest that are burning now took 150 years or more to grow. None of our children or grandchildren will have the privilege of enjoying what is being lost. It is truly sad to watch and know that it isn't over yet. We still have monsoon season to get through with it's lightening storms and spotty rains so this could perhaps be only the beginning of the fire troubles in the High Country.
All I can say is Pray really hard for Rain or a miracle because we need all of both that we can get.
Sandra Paulow, Associate Broker, GRI, SFR
Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty in Show Low, Arizona