Hello, I never post personal blog posts. But this fire has wiped out half my town.
The fire was being pushed North by the winds, until Sunday 6-30-2013, when the wind turned 180 degrees. It blew the flames with gusts of 40 mph into the Glen Ilah area, covering a 1.5 miles in less than 30 minutes.
As of now, 19 firefighters are dead, 18 from the Granite Mountain Hotshot group. No word on regular folks. The biggest problem is being a very rural area, most folks move there to retire, and turn into hermits. Hermits tend to stay to them selves. And many of them are rugged individuals, and were unlikely to listen to evacuation orders.
One of our friends were loaded and waiting for the evacuation order, when the fire turned, and they left right away. The flames were burning the North end of their home as they drove off. They were sure some of their neighbors were still at home.
At least 200 homes are destroyed, burning over 8,000 acres of Chaparral and Manzanitas, and with no containment as of Monday morning, the fire has jumped the highway, and is getting into an area of a 3000' high ridge with one road that is rarely maintained. So from that area, to Wickenburg (Southwest) 15 miles away, Lake Pleasant 25 miles (South), half of that region will only be able to be fought from the air. Towards Prescott (North and East), there are more roads, good paved highways, and much of the area is just grasslands and canyons. That is the direction of the winds now, and hopefully the firecrews will be able to get that flank under control soon.