Fire Danger

I have not evacuated yet, but I’ve been staging to pack and go. The 12′ enclosed trailer is attached to the back of the Raptor.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., — Due to fire danger, dry conditions, and persistent wildfire activity during a time when firefighting resources are sparse, the entirety of Coconino National Forest is closed.

“A full forest closure means that the public is prohibited from entering any part of Coconino National Forest at any time. Only those with private inholdings will be allowed access to their property, as well as personnel providing utility support where necessary, and firefighters performing their duties.” So that’s the clause that allows me to remain here at the mine for now. Some people have been evacuated in the area, some are on stand-by. I’m “staging” which means that I’m not loaded out.

I’ll spare you the almost obligatory photos of things on fire. There are some pre-posted blogs that will fire off on schedule. I’ll respond if I’m still here.

Fires and road closures mean that if I have to flee, I think that the only route open is I-40 to Albuquerque, NM.  Everything else is closed because of fire. Even my usual forest road evac. routes are closed because of active fire fighting efforts. There are some back roads that I know, but there rough and I don’t want to haul a trailer down them.


  1. Again, praying for weather conditions to change for the better. I do wish they’d authorize water/slurry drops asap on these types to knock them back…we’re America for God’s sake, we have the means.

    • For the historical record, every water-dropping aircraft in the Southwest has been earmarked to the area. There is a fire near bobbookworm (below), a fire near Flagstaff, a fire between Camp Verde and Strawberry/Pine, and one near Globe that was massive but seems to be under control. They had 1000 firefighters on the ground on the Globe fire alone last Saturday.

      Closing the national forest to everyone is a good move. The campers will not be happy, but these good people still do campfires thinking that THEIR fire is safe. To be fair, most of the bad fires were lightning-caused. However yesterday, there were three campfires that turned into small wildfires that were started.

      • Good to hear, the two here last year (Colorado and Wyoming) started tiny by some weekend moron’s campfire. The Forest Service watched, almost like they wanted to let the acreage burn. Drove the residents nuts…Horsetooth Reservoir was right there.

        Had a strike during a rainstorm here at that time, figured “goo, rain”. Smelled smoke at 3:00am for three nights after. Finally found it inside a hollow tree up on a hidden bench, 1/2 mile from the house, 150′ diameter and growing and the hot winds kicked it up. Worked like a maniac for an hour. Neighbors came to help once the line was established, and MrsPaulM and a friend helped the VFD find us. Used one of our 4 wheelers to shuttle water bags until they could get close enough for the hoses. Got it out, but a full day of insanity. I’d rather that than torching 1000 acres and homes.

        Oddity was a number of people came in off 287, trespassing on private land to video the activity and post on Facebook. MrsPaulM about pulled her firearm that’s how bad it got with the moronic attention seekers.

        • To video and not to help…asshats. A long time ago, you could use rock salt loads in shotguns aimed at asses and the backs of legs. I wouldn’t do that today. I was rocksalted once as a boy. I deserved it, of course.

          • Yeah, last summer was prety friggin’ NUTZ here for fires. The in-laws at the homestead up in the canyons were right on the edge of evac. They packed up and pulled out to one of their other properties. After the High Park fire that almost wiped them out they weren’t taking any chances.

            Prayers sent, LL.

  2. Good luck LL! Make it out safe if that is what is needed. I can appreciate your status as there were some bad fires here in South Central Texas in the past few years. The cedar here, if it catches fire, will go wild. My prayers are with you and yours.

  3. When living in the forest you get connected with natur and develop a more realistic view in all aspects of life. My best thoughts to you and your familily LL.

  4. I think you might want to procure lodging at the other end, wherever that may be. Sure, you may be more prepared than most people, but if Flag is evac’d, there will be a ton of people doing the same. Of course, the reasonably observant person knows this. Yet in the midst of things. it gets overlooked.

    And, today I read that a woman hiking (hiking! in this heat) succumbed. Even the animals know to lie down.

    God speed, pray for the best.

    • North to Page would be a good idea. I am biased toward navigable waters.

      If I-40 is your heart’s desire, I simply love that area at the state line.

      I am not telling anyone where or how. I am simply saying if you have to move, might as well be to a gorgeous location. Or course, can’t be the fry bread. And green is the answer. Unless it’s red.

        • The route to Page is open, but there I am with my worldly goods, looking for a place to sleep. The idea wasn’t to camp. Sleeping in the truck is doable and I’ve done it often enough, but — it’s a problem. It’s not so much about moving as just riding out an evac in as much comfort as I can muster.

          • See, this is why you need to get that LMTV with the radio room box on the back. Or a rebuilt school bus or something.

            In reality, I hope you and yours and all your stuff survives.

  5. Don’t wait too long. Better to leave and find out you didn’t have to, than race away wondering if you’ll make it. I heard too many stories from the Paradise fire here.

  6. We dodged the bullet here today, LL. Lightning fire just a couple of miles west of us and a steady west wind to push it our way…locals hit it hard with multiple air units and 3 or 4 different agencies crews. Got a line around it by late this afternoon. We had the travel trailer prepped and a pile of stuff to go if it had gotten away from them. Prayer works.

    we dodged a bullet here toiday…lightni

    • You dodged it. But by a whisker. The air tankers that were hitting the area around your place were flying out of Winslow airport. I went up there to lay in a few groceries and watched them in and out, headed south to you.

      • Had a helicopter dipping water from the lake behind us and the turn around time to the fire was only five minutes or so…too close.

  7. Crap, evac really sucks. Here’s hoping everybody gets out okay, and secondarily for low property damage.

    Fingers crossed.


  8. I hope you and your place remain intact. I am, bizarrely, seeing three days of rain (not a lot, but hey) in the forecast. I have never know it to rain here in June.

    • The forecast is calling for rain/thundershowers tomorrow in addition to those three days of rain. The concern here is that lightning strikes in dry areas will cause more fires. Monsoon rain is different because it drenches the place. But you’re right, it never rains in AZ in June.

      • If it rains then those of us who prayed some moisture down your way will say “See, God does listen.”

  9. +1,00 to all the above well wishes. I’m throwing in my prayers and fingers crossed, too. I don’t really care about the pics, there is YouTube for that. You and yours just stay safe and I KNOW you will do what’s right if the time comes.

  10. We’ve gone from dry-crunchy and about to turn into a new version of the Florida Firestorms of 1998 because no absolutely no rain to 1″ or more a day. Whew. We dodged a bullet for now.

    Hope things go well and you can evaluate future fire preps and clear fire zones for a better survival chance next time.

    And we’ll keep you (all) in our prayers.

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