If you’ve never spent much time in the Grand Canyon State, you might not think of this being a place that has major fires. You’d be wrong. Four big wildfires are burning in Arizona as I write this.
The Gladiator Fire, burning 60 miles south of us, has grown to nearly a thousand acres, destroyed two buildings, and forced a mandatory evacuation of the small community of Crown King. South of Payson, about 100 miles southeast of us, the Sunflower Fire has covered over 2,700 acres in the Tonto National Forest and growing fast. Another fire, in Santa Cruz County near the Mexican border has burned more than 1,000 acres. And yet another, smaller fire, is burning on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation south of our old hometown of Show Low, and has covered over 450 acres. At least one of the fires is believed to be caused by humans. Extremely hot weather and high winds have helped the fires spread rapidly and made fighting them difficult. We are not in any danger, but we can see the smoke from the Gladiator Fire from the Thousand Trails campground.
Wildfires are an annual event in Arizona. In 2002 the Rodeo-Chediski Fire destroyed 460,000 acres of beautiful forests and over 400 homes. It was the largest fire in Arizona history to that point. My daughter and many of our friends were evacuated as the fire grew to the edge of Show Low.
The good thing about living in an RV is that we can outrun a fire if it did start to get close, and wherever we end up, we have plenty of water on board and a generator to supply our electrical needs. Having lived on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim, home to the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the world, I can tell you, that’s a lot better than living in a stick house and wondering when the next fire will head your way.
Just one of the advantages of having wheels under your house is that you can be prepared for many natural or man-made disasters. Not just fires, but hurricanes, blizzards, and yes, even tornadoes. While you usually don’t have time to outrun a tornado (and who needs to be anyplace where they have blizzards?), if you do find yourself in a situation like that, maybe because you live in a regular house but have an RV for traveling, it can provide power and shelter until the local utilities can be restored.
That’s why we always keep our fresh water tank over half full, and try to have a full tank of fuel when we are going to be parked for a while. We’d much prefer to turn the key and drive away before anything bad happens, but if we can’t, it’s nice to have some creature comforts in the aftermath.
Thought For The Day – Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.