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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

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Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 05/15/22 03:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our best friends have a beautiful home in Angel Fire which we have visited 21 times in the last 5+ years. The Calf canyon fire started several weeks ago 35 miles to the south seemingly posing no serious threat. Then some Bozo decided to do a Controlled Burn near Hermits Peak and it went very badly. They lost control and it merged with the Calf Canyon event. Currently the fire is approaching 300,000 acres destroyed and is on pace to be the largest fire in the history of New Mexico.

Firefighters faced the worst possible conditions this past week experiencing 59 continuous hours of severe Red Flag winds of 30 mpg gusting 60 to 70 mph with just 4 percent humidity. Conventional firefighting techniques were impossible and all aircraft were grounded due to the high winds. [emoticon]

Our friends had flown to San Diego to spend a couple of weeks on their boat when everything at home went south. As there are not many flights to Albuquerque and they needed to get home ASAP Wednesday afternoon I suggested they fly to Phoenix and I would pick them up at 0600 at their hotel. They got the last flight out of San Diego to Phoenix getting in at 11.

We got back to our place in Payson at 8 and by 8:30 were on the road in our 24' Class C to Albuquerque to pick up their truck at the airport and drive the additional 3 hours back to AF. When we arrived in AF the evacuation protocol {Ready, Set, Go} was in the "Set" mode. While the population of AF this time of year is about 1,200 by Memorial day that number climbs to 10,000+. The town was completely deserted, downright spooky actually but we were able to negotiate the last 2 miles of dirt/gravel washboard of a road arriving at their place at 6.

Having recently retired as an airline pilot Paul had restocked his toy chest with a gorgeous Lance 1685 trailer, a Polaris XP1000 Rzr SXS and a new trailer to haul it with all three parked on the property. The plan was for us to tow the Rzr out of harms way with the Lance departing behind Paul's truck. If we could just get there ahead of the fire there would also be time to empty their safes and the house of as many personal items as possible loading Sherry's car. If everything was lost to the fire at least we could all stay in our coach nearby while they sorted things out.

Friday things calmed somewhat but Saturday morning the winds picked up again threatening to cut AF off, potentially eliminating any escape down through Taos Canyon on Highway 64. The mandatory evacuations was in effect just 5 miles to the south with the fire now within 8 miles of their house. They had the Lance hooked up and ready to roll so pending getting the "Go" order they elected to stay and continue packing and loading. We got the hell pout of Dodge just before noon and managed to get down to Taos on 64 without incident.

In 5.5 hours we made it to Gallup and spent the night at the USA RV park {one of our favorites} and drove the remaining 3.5 hours back to Payson this morning arriving at 1015. The Rzr is secure in my garage with the trailer locked up in our front yard. We estimated we were all able to protect about $100,000 worth of their possessions even if the fire does yet arrive.

The entire adventure took 76 hours from 0400 on Thursday to our return to Payson this morning. The trip was intense but our trusty 2012 Nexus came through for all of us which I will detail in a new thread in the Class C Forum.

Bottom line we Got er done!

[emoticon]





dedmiston

Coast to Coast

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Posted: 05/15/22 07:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for doing the right thing.

Godspeed to you and your buddies. Thanks for helping them out.


2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. AISIN trans & 4.10 rear. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • Hooligan #3

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afidel

Cleveland

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Posted: 05/16/22 12:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Real friends will drive 3 days to help you save your stuff from the ravages of mother nature, good on you =)


2019 Dutchman Kodiak 293RLSL
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Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 05/19/22 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just got off of the phone with Paul and things are looking grim The next 48 hours will probably tell the tale as the winds will be up severely and the humidity back down to about 4 percent. They have spent the last 4 days since we left packing as much as they can into the TT, his truck and her car and all three are full. They are prepared to be gone in minutes if they get the "Go" order. It is 2+ miles of dirt road winding through dense forrest before they reach Highway 434 and can escape to the north.

Under the heading of "ominous" fire crews inspected every property in the Monte Verde Lake subdivision yesterday hangin colored ribbons at the top of each driveway. They were very pleased with the thorough fire safe/wise prep Pull and Sherry had put in. The only suggestion was to move all of the firewood farther away from the house and they quickly did so. Those colored ribbons will determine which houses they can save and which will have to be left to the fire. Obviously the fire crews are expecting the fire to come through...[emoticon]

Nothing more we can do from here except wait and hope for the best... very scary!

[emoticon]

* This post was edited 05/19/22 10:59am by Desert Captain *

Mayor30

Pa

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Posted: 05/19/22 05:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a friend who lives in Payson and we were talking about fires last night. I said if I lived out there,I would do everything I could to make my house fire proof.Metal roof,brick or metal siding and clearing trees and brush from within 100ft of the house.Then have a sprinkler system on a timer.Not much more you can do than that. I hope your friends house makes it. It's a shame for all the damage these fires do.They can be very scary.

Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 05/19/22 07:27pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When we bought our Payson house the first thing we did was firesafe/wise the property. It had been a rental for 10 years and according to the neighbors nothing was done during that time. Pine needles and oak leaves were 18"+ deep over all of the .57ac. It took a couple of months and a lot of trips to the brush pile at the land fill with our cargo trailer and truck but we got it all cleared and have maintained it ever since. The neighbors were delighted as we had removed a serious hazard.

I do a lot of hand watering due to the drought to keep our trees {nearly 100} from drying out. Last years Monsoon was awesome dropping 16" of rain in 6 weeks and we are hoping for another good one. Fortunately Payson is one of the very few communities up here that has a reliable water source as the city had the foresight to create a dedicated reservoir years ago to supply the city. Hopefully by mid June, early July at the latest the Monsoon will arrive but until then we will remain under serious fire restrictions and hope for the best. It is just part of the price we willingly pay for the privilege of living in this beautiful community.

[emoticon]

nickthehunter

Southgate, MI

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Posted: 05/20/22 10:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

100 trees, house, garage, half acre, firesafe
{I scratches my head}, one of these words doesn't fit.

Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 05/20/22 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nickthehunter wrote:

100 trees, house, garage, half acre, firesafe
{I scratches my head}, one of these words doesn't fit.


Firesafe consists of keeping the ground clear and free of leaves, pine needles etc while keeping the trees green and healthy with sufficient watering pending the arrival of the Monsoon. Our driveways are paved with asphalt, the small house and garage have fireproof shingles.

Our trees vary from 60' Ponderosa pines {8} to assorted Oak, Juniper, a large Maple and several varieties of Pine. We also have lots of Manzanita and ground cover and nice thick lawn under the Maple. We are in full compliance with all of the applicable local firesafe ordinances.

If you live in the mountains these precautions come with the territory.

Thanks again to Barney for getting me back to being able to post pics. Here is a shot of our home:

[image]

[emoticon]

* This post was edited 05/21/22 08:45am by Desert Captain *

Desert Captain

Payson

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Posted: 05/20/22 12:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not having any luck posting pics with Imgur. i give up for now.

[emoticon]

BarneyS

S.E. Lower Michigan

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Posted: 05/21/22 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you will follow these directions exactly, it is very easy to post pictures on our forums. One of our moderators, 1492, developed this photo posting app to post your pictures. It works for other internet sites also. There is no need to have a separate hosting site for your pictures in order to use it.

It is very simple to use.
1. Upload your picture from your computer to the app.
2. Copy the resulting URL.
3. Paste that URL into your post without ANY changes. No additions or deletions.
Your picture will then appear in your post and be properly sized for use on our forums.[emoticon]

Note: Norton Lifelock does not like the site for some reason. I, and others, use it regularly without issue. When I get the red "Dangerous Webpage Blocked" message I just click on "continue to the site" down at the bottom and everything is ok. Have been doing this since 2014.


2004 Sunnybrook Titan 30FKS TT
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Not towing now.
Former tow vehicles were 2016 Ram 2500 CTD, 2002 Ford F250, 7.3 PSD


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