Friday, June 17, 2011

Battling the Beast at the Gates of Sierra Vista

On the 12th of June, a fire was started in the southern most reaches of the Coronado Forest. From the way the fire has spread, it is currently being investigated as an arson set against one of our National Monuments with intent to obfuscate smugglers or border jumpers invading our country.

Having seen what I have seen and done what I have done over the past 24 years, I can do little but see this as  an act of terrorism against my country, my county, my beloved mountains, my community, my friends and my home.

Since the 12th, the beast has raged across the southern boundary of the place I now call home. A monument on top of a mountain I love to scale because of its magnificent southern exposure to the Montezuma Pass is now covered in ashes and soot. Friends are now homeless refugees evacuated from the smoke and flame. They sit awaiting news on if their houses still stand and are safe to inhabit again.

Since the 15th, the beast has more than doubled its carnage, spreading from just under 8000 acres to now, on the 17th of June, over 18,000 acres. 7000 acres were consumed between 8pm last night and 9am this morning. This beast will not be tamed easily.

I have done some to assist those I could. I feel retrained and limited in what I can do at this time. If you have ever faced such devastation first hand, the words "awesome" and "awful" seem to intermingle in meaning at the pure power the elements bring to bare. Wind and Flame consume the Earth, water is doing little to suppress. While Japan reeled from water's forces, here we sit besieged by water's mirror twin. On the east coast, I read of people hoping flooding doesn't increase from storms. Here, we wish for those storms.

Mark my words, should I find those who started this fire within my sights, I will roast them slowly on a spit and feed them to the four-legged coyotes who wander the valley out my north-facing windows. There can be no doubt, if they did this intentionally or as part of a criminal act such as invading my country, they have committed an act of terrorism.

Just as when terrorists struck our country in 2001, I have stood vigil and ready for action. Just like when in 2003 we went to war against one of the countries found to have supported those terrorists, I stand ready to charge into the fray. As we carried one refugee back towards his home to assist getting the rest of his family to safety, I looked up and saw the blackest of clouds.

The black cloud and the dust painted orange from the flames reminded me of the push from the Karbala Gap towards Baghdad. A huge sandstorm blew in. Many structures and military vehicles burned black across the horizon. We dubbed those the "three days of eternal night", as we could only tell the time of day from a watch. It was the war and devastation from Iraq in 2003 that I saw when I looked south at that smoke and blowing dust that marked the stampede of the beast. The beast has a name. "The Arizona Monument Fire". It has an equally angry twin in the Chiricahua Mountains to the East of Tombstone, named "The Second Horseshoe Canyon Fire". A third that burned a short time near Patagonia Arizona last month is another part of this plague. Terrorists and criminals from Mexico most likely released all three of these beasts from their cage in order to divert attention away from their invasion and to induce fear among the innocent and hard working citizens of Arizona.

The Red Cross is running short of funds and supplies. They could use some volunteers. Contact them and see what you can do to help.

I am running a bit of a fundraiser tomorrow to help raise some funds. If you like to or are interested in trying your hand at some live-action role-play, come to Pyramid Comics in Sierra Vista.

Sunday I will be back out there, doing with my hands, head, and heart what I can.