09 June 2011

Serious Beauty

Sunset into the smoke plume from Wallow (AZ) fire, shot from Kelly Church near Magdalena, NM, June 2011
The past few evenings, the smoke plume from the Wallow wildfire in eastern Arizona has streamed across our northwest sky, and today shifting winds have brought it and associated health hazards over Magdalena (we're 120 or so miles away) and other areas of New Mexico. This human-caused fire has burned 600+ square miles so far and just continues to grow, threatening not only once-pristine wilderness but area communities as well, and even power transmission to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Last night the people of Eagar and Springerville were ordered to evacuate their homes because the fire is just a few miles away and shows no signs of abating, nor does the weather show any signs of becoming anything other than hot, bone-dry, and windy. Can you imagine how heartbreaking it must be to have to pack up and leave your home? Yes, possessions can "be replaced," as I keep hearing people say (usually news commentators hundreds of miles away in their air-conditioned studios), but... not really, not when your whole home and the memories and lives lived within those walls could be gone when you go back.

So, although I would have to call myself "spiritual but not religious" these days, I'm kind of praying for everyone who has had to or will have to evacuate as this wildfire rages on. More tangible help is also on the scene: the Red Cross is accepting donations for shelter and other relief, and the United Food Bank has asked for monetary donations so they can send truckloads of food to evacuees as well as people in remote communities who have not (yet) been evacuated but no longer can go to Springerville for groceries. As with most natural disasters, though, the fallout from this fire will extend far into the future as people return home and try to rebuild their lives, perhaps from nothing more than ashes.

4 comments:

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. So sad about all these fires...

Your photography is beautiful. May I paint you red flower with the bee? It is gorgeous!

lisa said...

My goodness, this is terrible. Sending prayers from NY.

Regina said...

Joining you in prayer.

Steve Bodio said...

I have good NM friends on several- generation ranches not far downwind, who WON'T leave (one was born there 15 miles south of the pavement). Only hope and pray...