“ You’re hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life, keep the faith. It will be worth it in the end.”
Thank you God, Firefighters, forest service, friends and family who prayed and sent well wishes when I posted a prayer request to all of you and that includes my blogger friends out there as well.
We had a scare here at Our Little Red House for the month of June. Arizona would experience one of it’s largest fires in history. Burning over 190.000 acres, the Bush fire, named after starting on the roadside when a driver’s vehicle caught on fire, was headed in the direction where Our Little Red House is. This fire was big, ugly, an angry one.
We were first given the notice to get “Ready” which is code to prepare your home and those areas that surround your home, just in case the fire reached it. The winds were picking up daily and the temps here in our state were in the double digits. Our temps in the summer run over 100 degrees. Those are hard conditions for the fire fighters out there battling these fires.
They also had the pandemic to worry about. All firefighters had their temps taken daily and they were tested as well. Only one person tested positive and he was put into quarantine along with his crew when that happened.
Shelters were done a little differently this time as well. Only opened during the day for short visits, masks were worn and hand sanitizing stations where set up along with snacks and water. Anyone who needed a place to sleep for the night was given a hotel room to sleep in so as not to have people close together. The fires started during record numbers of cases in our state showing up daily.
Each morning we woke up the fire grew and more acres burned. We thought about our friends up north. There are people who live up there full time, mostly retired people. Then there are the ones who own summer homes up there, living full time here in the city. Some own just raw land that they park trailers on or tents to camp out on.
It is such a beautiful area. Such a sad thing to think of any of it burning.
As the fire grew and more and more towns had to evacuate our town was given another notice, this time they stepped it up to “Set” which is to start getting those things you may need with you in case you are given the “Go” notice. A notice given to residents to evacuate because the danger in your area is imminent and life threatening.
When you are in the “Set” stage you have to think about the 5 P’s of evacuations which are:
- People, pets and other livestock.
There are several ranchers and horse owners up north. Some of the cattle are roaming out freely and would be impossible to round up during emergency situations.
Lots of furry family members that our friends up north love and need to protect.
- Prescriptions- since we are now in a pandemic you have to add face coverings, hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes to this part.
3.Papers- important documents
- Personal needs- baby supplies like diapers, clothes, and credit cards.
- Priceless- all those items that are sentimental to us like family photos.
When I think of the five P’s during wildfire season I always look around when we are up there in that small town with so much history. I mean where do you begin, what do you decide is important and then how do you pack it all up. Such tragedies happen when fires go through an area.
They had to close some roads, so we couldn’t get up north this month to Our Little Red House without driving through dangerous situations. The whole state was surrounded by fires.
We thought about Our Little Red House up there and even though we did not really have anything of value there, we did have a few things that could have been put under the priceless category.
Like the little pillows my daughter and I made together, just some mom and daughter time when she was a little girl.
Or the window curtains we bought second hand for .50 cents down at the country thrift store. We even sewed up some window valances with bits of fabric from that store. Found little bits of lace to add to the edges. We put our love into making Our Little Red House a home. I did not want to think about any fire coming in and destroying it all.
We even made shower curtains for the bathroom and I drew a bunny picture and framed it for the wall. It was a pencil drawing of a wild cotton tail surrounded by Arizona wildflowers.
Or my little boys IKEA bed that he used to have in his bedroom here in the city. I turned it into a rustic loft bed for the big room, even added chalk paint to the sides.
My husband has his father’s old toy tractor up there. We have some family photos and some items family members have given us. Just sentimental things we hold close to our hearts. But to drive up in the middle of several fires to get there was not only a very stupid idea but also extremely dangerous. Material items are just that. If something happened to Our Little Red House, we would start over and build another. It would not be the same of course since Our Little Red House was built in the 1940’s and comes with it’s own history. But lives are more important then things.
The whole town has so much Arizona history in it.
Even the old Hoghland store is a landmark in town. Some people call that store the heart of the town. It sits up there on it’s hill looking down at us all. People over the decades would stop there to talk to each other, collect packages during the different wars our country experienced. Always up there on the hill providing food, clothes and medicine during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Now here we are so many decades later and it sits up there having survived so much and a fire was headed it’s way. That was a scary thought, and so sad to even think about.
Everyone was on edge up there. It was a rough time for all. So many prayers, so many people to think about. We have many friends up north who could have lost so much if the Bush fire would have reached our town. Not to mention all that beauty up in that area.
So much beauty.
In all the acres the Bush fire burned and all the towns who did have to evacuate, there were no lives lost, no animals that died and no buildings lost either. I was so surprised to hear that no buildings were effected. Several towns were at one point evacuated. Now everyone is back to their homes. This was a Huge prayer that was answered.
There have been many lives lost over the years here in Arizona to forest fires.
The damage the fire did will grow back. It will be green again with wildflowers everywhere. Ar first shocking, being all black, it will be back to green again by next Spring.
We are not completely out of the woods yet. New fires are starting up in that area. The last time I was up there I shared a photo of the lake we visited and there was a fire that started not too far from that area that was able to burn 2 acres. They got that fire put out fast, as soon as it happened. So continue to send out well wishes and prayers that these fires are put out and everyone remains safe this summer.
THANK YOU, all of you. Thank you to God, to all those firefighters who worked so hard day after day and to all of you who kept everyone in your prayers. At one point they were worried the Bush fire would continue burning in one particular area but one of our man made lake stopped it in it’s path. It was the path that lead to the town where Our Little Red House is. It is also one of the most scenic drives in all of Arizona and home to the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world. We all could have lost so much.
I know there are some out there that do not believe in the power of prayer, that is not my place to push anyone to believe, it has to come from ones own heart. I am just sharing another prayer that was answered. So very important to acknowledge the prayers that do get answered, being grateful and thankful in that process. Sometimes prayers don’t get answered, that is okay too, because there are life lessons in those unanswered ones. Life lessons that are much more powerful as teaching moments. Again, this was a gift. No one was harmed, no loss of life and no loss of buildings. I tried to research more on that and could not find anything that brought up any loss of buildings. I had been told this but for some reason this was hard for me to believe considering how huge the fire was. When I heard there was no loss of homes and animals, I was so happy. because that was part of my prayer as well. Stay safe out there everyone, God bless you all from all of us at Our Little Red House.
“ God answers prayers and sometimes he goes so far beyond anything we ever believed could happen.”