Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another Night In Paradise

I've always been a morning person, usually up before sunrise in the summers. But when late night becomes early morning with no sleep to separate the two it becomes a little extreme.

It started out as a bad migraine, but then chest pains came - crippling chest pains. The migraine responded to the medication and returned to a dull throb but the chest pains made it impossible for me to remain in bed.Knowing everything I do about the source of the stress my mind keeps returning back to my home and barn compounding everything. So I put the tv on, put the computer on.. anything to try and distract myself from this fretting and anxiety. So I sit pecking at the keyboard with one finger at 3 am. Half way through 2011 with no hope of help in sight and I am desperately, desperately exhausted and stressed.

The wildfires in Arizona have entered New Mexico and still gain strength. This is one tragedy after another across this nation and the hurricane season will start this week ~ we have no idea what to expect this year.

Arizona Wildfire Blazes Out Of Control

A wildfire blazed unchecked for an 11th day in Arizona on Wednesday, engulfing a deserted town, forcing thousands of people in nearby towns to flee and leaving 600 square miles (1,550 square km) of pine forest blackened.

The blaze, which is believed to have been started by campers, ranks as Arizona's second-largest forest fire on record. It cut through the popular mountain retreat of Greer, which had been evacuated days before, authorities told reporters in the nearby town of Springerville.

Captain Jim Wilkins, a US Forest Service fire official, said it was too soon to know how many of several hundred homes in the town were lost.

Earlier on Wednesday, authorities ordered the complete evacuation of Springerville and a third mountain community, Eager. The two towns, both situated near the New Mexico border, are home to 8,000 people combined.

As many as 2,000 people had fled the Springerville-Eager area over the past two days, but officials had allowed most residents to stay pending possible further evacuations.

As many as 11,000 residents in all have been displaced in the White Mountains region, since the fire erupted on 29 May.

While the blaze remained at 'zero containment' no injuries have been reported and known property losses were limited to 11 structures, including at least four cabins, fire officials said. Around 2,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.

New Mexico state officials were also readying for the blaze, which they said was about a mile from the border on Wednesday, to cross into their state.

Winds fanning the fire through tinder-dry ponderosa pines were expected to intensify again on Wednesday.

"This fire is very large and very intense, and we're still just trying to get a handle on it," said fire information officer Brenyn Lohmoelder.

One of the biggest challenges facing fire crews was the danger of additional spot fires ignited by burning embers carried aloft by high winds, said Jim Whittington, a fire official.

Fire officials said the so-called Wallow fire had charred up to 157,000 hectares (389,000 acres) in and around the Apache-Sitgreaves national forest.

Smoke from the conflagration, which fire officials suspect may have started from an unattended campfire, has drifted as far east as Iowa.

Nearly 1,000 firefighters worked on Wednesday to gain greater control over a separate large wildfire burning in the south-eastern part of the state.

Officials said the Horseshoe 2 fire had consumed nearly 43,000 hectares and prompted the evacuation of two small communities. Seven structures were reported lost in that fire, which was listed as 50% contained.

The number of tragedies and natural disasters in 2011 are almost mind boggling.

Emotions are celebrated and repressed, analyzed and medicated, adored and ignored -- but rarely, if ever, are they honored. ~ Karla McLaren