I’m stepping outside of my usual green business arena to discuss the Wallow Fire, which is currently Arizona’s third largest wildfire. Burning in eastern Arizona, the Wallow Fire is affecting areas that I hold near and dear to my heart — Greer, Sunrise, Big Lake and more.
According to the most recent update available on the Arizona Emergency Information Network website, the fire is closing in on 250,000 acres, more than 2,500 personnel are working to contain the fire, four structures have been lost and 348 are threatened.
Residents in nearby Springerville and Eager have been issued a pre-evacuation notice, and if the fire continues its march towards these two communities, the number of structures in danger could significantly rise.
I don’t live in one of these communities, but our family has vacationed in the area since I was a young girl. I also have family members who own a cabin in the evacuation zone.
When I watch the video footage online, I’m saddened to see the utter devastation that this fire is leaving behind. Some wildfires burn only brush, but this fire is decimating everything in its path, from the treetops down to the underbrush. The once lush green forest and expansive meadows are now black.
I looked at an updated map of the fire this morning and it appears that the area around Big Lake has burned. On our last family vacation to Greer, we took a trip up to Big Lake and my son was inspired to record a green tip on the importance of water conservation on our family blog. When I was his age, I also spent time at this same lake. On our next visit, we will be met with a landscape that resembles the moon instead of the lush forest and meadows that once surrounded the lake.
Greer itself is still standing and fire crews are working hard to protect the structures in this small tight-knit community. Unfortunately, the weather in the area isn’t cooperating and the situation still remains critical. Let’s hope that the monsoon rains make an early appearance.