Sunday, May 8, 2011

Horseshoe 2 Fire: Deja Vu

Today a fire began in the Chiricahuas and quickly blew into a large burn. It apparently began in upper Horseshoe Canyon, close to the origin of last year's Horseshoe Fire, and is being called Horseshoe 2. A Type 1 fire team has been dispatched and will arrive here in the morning.

Horseshoe 2 Fire on 8 May 2011; the peak on the left is Portal Peak. 
(Photo by Narca)

Last year, the fire started in a very menacing fashion, and then settled after a few days into a relatively sedate, well-mannered burn. But last year we'd had a winter of very high rainfall, and the vegetation was wet.

This year, conditions are vastly different, after an extremely dry winter. Winds have been blowing all spring, and are forecast to continue to be sustained this week, with gusts predicted at 45 MPH.

The Sulphur Canyon area lies downwind, and homes in that area are being evacuated right now. We are of course worried about our friends and neighbors in the fire's path.

No lightning has been detected; the fire is almost certainly human-caused.

Tom Arny very aptly characterized the view of the fire from Rodeo as "apocalyptic."

Uh-oh: our neighbor 1/2 mile away was just told to evacuate. The wind has shifted and the fire is "completely out of control."

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