June 2003 Fire, page 2
The officials let residents back into the burn area just before noon the next day. Many areas
were still smoldering, and a persistent spot high up in a canyon on the northwest side of the
mountain would keep firefighters busy for another three days. The amazing thing is that no
homes were lost. The firefighters simply dug their heels in and refused to let the fire cross
firelines around the homes. I was particularly amazed to see a certain wood-frame house high on
the hillside still intact ... I had watched flames roar around it for hours the day before.
Here you can see the extent of the burned area. Most of the mountainside was affected.
Here you can see where the firefighters managed to hold the fire back at Stone Ridge Road.
How they did it is beyond me. Check the picture on the previous page that was taken as we
drove out on that same road.
This picture looks down on the lot where we are building our home. The fire stopped at the road,
our "driveway", and various other bare spots on the lot. About a half acre of our lot was
blackened, but we didn't lose any trees.
One of the bare spots that helped stop the fire was the foot path that my wife and the dogs use to
walk up to the lot. I say "helped", because I was told that several firefighters also were there
all Saturday night protecting our partially completed house.
Here is how close the fire got to the walls of our house.
And here is how close it got to the building we are staying in while we build our house.
|We feel extremely lucky to have escaped damage from the fire. I can't say enough about the
work the firefighters put in, many of whom were putting in 16 hour shifts. We've been told that
225 men and women helped put it out, together with a small army of trucks, helicopters,
airplanes, and assorted support vehicles. Firefighters included National Forest personnel and
about a dozen different volunteer fire departments from all over southern Arizona. The Sheriff's
Department was all over the place, and the local animal control units were out there providing
temporary quarters for pets whose owners had to evacuate their homes. It was a pretty