Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Shingle Fire.

Like many other's living in the west, we too have a wilderness fire a little too close to home for comfort. Our fire called the Shingle Fire started sunday afternoon about 3:38pm. It was caused by a faulty
ATV park arrestor. As of late sunday night the fire had burned 500 acres. This morning the fire has reached 5400 acres (1 acre is about the size of 1 football field). An estimated 550 residents have been evacuated. Many of our ward member's living on the mountain have been evacuated. It's awesome to see so many families living here in Alton offer there homes to other's in need. Our Town Hall right across the street has also been opened to families who need a place to stay.

This picture was taken near the Swain's Creek turn off.
 This picture was taken yesterday at Todd's. About 3 miles north of the fire.
 This picture was taken at the Mammoth Cave turn off on HWY 14 facing in our direction. Obviously the HWY has been shut down AGAIN for us locals.  
 I took this picture last night standing in the road beside my house. The air reeks of smoke. This morning our vehicles are covered in ash.  We are being told that the fire remains at 0% containment. There are 3 helicopters and 2 heavy air tankers fighting our fire. There are 19 engines, 2 hand crews and 3 bull dozers. Yesterday afternoon due to strong winds there were 200+ firefighters removed from the area due to extreme conditions. This fire seems to be out of control and moving very quickly.
 Sunday night Kory and I went to an emergency evacuation meeting. Our town has been put on alert that we may have to evacuate (pretty slim chances unless the fire jumps the highway). Yesterday when the nearest subdivision was evacuated they were given 2 hours to leave voluntarily and 4 hours to leave mandatory. Yesterday morning I decided to pull out our 72 hour kits and just go through them. I remember when we moved to Utah 2 years ago going through them but haven't since. What I don't remember is basicly empying them 2 years ago and NOT replacing them with anything. All of the food was missing from the packs. Hunter's pack had 5T clothing (he's 9 now), Madelyn 4T (she's 8 now), and Emily 18months clothing (she's 5 now). My pack had diapers and a sleeper for a future baby Brayden. WOW!  Needless to say I spent the afternoon repacking and making a few new 72 hour packs.
 I had all the kids try them on to make sure they weren't too heavy.
This morning they are now all on top of our coat closet shelf right if front of the front door. We are ready! There's a few things I'd like to add to them but that will have to wait until I get to the store next week. 
Whats up setting about this fire, man made or not is that the majority of this fire should have/could have been preventable. The Federal Government and Extreme Enviromentalists are to blame. A well managed forest would't burn like this. Locals and many other's have been fighting for years to be able to log the land or allow cattle to graze the area but have been told no due to an endangered beetle. The moutain once beautiful in my opinion is no longer. I remember the way the mountain looked 10+ years ago when Kory and I were dating. We traveled HWY 14 weekly. 2 years ago when we moved home I was shocked to see the mountain.  To me it looked nothing how I remembered it. To me the mountain has a "trashy" look to it. Too many dead trees and dry overgrown grass lands. In many areas there are more dead trees still standing than live trees. It's no wonder this fire is still out of control! It's just sad that so many people have been evacuated, so many homes are in danger. So many lives are at stake trying to get control of this fire. I laughed when I saw this post on facebook. "I hope they were able to evacuate all of the precious beetles. Hate to see the Eco-system disturbed by having them all die!" or how about this person's opinion, "It's infuriating! There should be a class action law suit.. Citizens of Kane County v. U.S. Federal Government!! They are risking real lives and livelihoods just to protect a beetle? Its just not right." 

There is a consequence to every action. I wonder how much money has been wasted by the Government trying to protect this endangered beetle that lives inside dead trees, that are killing more trees everyday? How much money could have been made by logging companies and ranchers by being able to use the land. How many jobs would this have created in a struggling economy ? Let's not forget the Government would have made money off all this too.  Now how much money is going to be spent because of this fire? How much land will be destroyed for years before it repairs itself? How many people are going to loose there homes, there livelihoods? How many people are suffereing from the inconvience of leaving there homes? All becuase of a beetle! It's not just Cedar Mountain either. There are so many wild fires right now in the West. How many of these fires could have been prevented if the forest had been well managed? There is a place for all of us but I sure wish these Extreme Enviromentalists could look at the whole picture and everything that will and can be effected  by there choices and decision's.  


Camille said...

yeah we saw that fire as we left alton on sunday. We were worried they'd shut the road before we could get to Cedar but it wasn't close enough. Crazy to see the pictures now!! That's obsurd (sp?) LOL about the dumb beetles, I'm on your side!

Janet said...

Praying you all are safe and the fire is put out quickly.