Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Firestorm in Flagstaff

Remember our Type 1 fire team led by Dugger Hughes? They are now in Flagstaff dealing with a much more extreme situation than the Horseshoe Fire presented. The fire in Schultz Pass flared from a tiny wisp of smoke (which my sister Kelly Burke noticed and phoned in) to a raging firestorm in a matter of hours. The smoke column towered to 30,000 feet, causing the Hopi at Second Mesa to think that the volcano of the San Francisco Peaks had erupted. In about a day and a half, whipped by 40 mph winds, the conflagration blew to 9,000 acres. Now at 14,000 acres, it is the nation's number one fire priority.

Here is one jaw-dropping photo, showing a small firefighting aircraft against the immensity of the fire, with Flagstaff in the foreground:

Schultz Fire from Flagstaff, June 20
(Photos by Kelly Burke)

Being in the midst of dealing with our own much more sedate Horseshoe Fire, we can certainly extend understanding and empathy to folks in Flagstaff, as they wait to see whether the north winds now being predicted will carry the fire four miles into the city itself. You can also check the progression of the Schultz Fire at www.inciweb.org.

Schultz Fire on June 22

At least we can tell our family and friends in Flag that they are in good hands! Dugger's team has been working hard and has quickly achieved 20% containment, as winds and fire behavior have moderated.

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