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Wildfire On A Sacred Mountain: Baboquivari, Southwest of Tucson, AZ (2 of 2)

The Elkhorn fire is being managed as a low intensity, slow moving burnoutIronwood Hotshots Crew Truck

The company is named "Ironwood Hotshots."  That's one of their crew trucks to the left, coming out of Brown Canyon with a crew of tired, hungry firefighters.

As of 7:00 this evening (Tuesday) the Elkhorn Fire has grown to 17,000 acres, and is 35% contained.

Approximately 215 firefighters have been deployed from around the state, according to a report by Judy Wood, spokesperson for the Arizona State Forestry Division.

The Baboquivari (bab-oh-kee-VAR'-ee) Peak Wilderness area is rugged mountainous terrain. Helicopters have been used today to start grass fires on the ridges, which then burn slowly downhill through the grass and underbrush. 

What started as a human-caused wildfire has been tamed, (as much as you can tame fire,) and will be allowed to burn out as a slow moving, low intensity fire. 

Ironwood Hotshots catching a mealThis strategy, coordinated between the BLM and the Arizona State Forestry Division, provides protection to the wilderness area, preventing future canyon wildfires like those seen in suburban southern California in the past few years.

I had the opportunity this evening to visit the base camp, 15 miles south of Three Points, just as the Ironwood Hotshots were coming off the mountain for food and rest. 

Not all of the firefighters are youngsters!

BLM SCEP Kristen LenhardtParking at the edge of base camp, I asked one of the men where I could find the Information Officer.

"That's her, over there," said the young man, pointing to a woman with long blond hair.  "She's helping serve dinner right now."

Kristen Lenhardt, Public Affairs Specialist for the Bureau of Land Management, is a newcomer to Tucson.  Her BLM business card still reads "Cheyenne, WY." 

Not all of the firefighters I saw tonight are of the younger generation, but most of them are, as is BLM SCEP Lenhardt.  I drove home thinking that with young people like these, the future of our Country is going to be in good hands!

In light of the present economy, and especially with respect to the real estate situation we're all dealing with, it's been awhile since I was this optimistic at the end of the day.

But I am!

 ___________________

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, AZ Mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Call me
if I can help you with a purchase or refi mortgage;
(520) 349-9090

Photos copyright Mike in Tucson

Comment balloon 15 commentsMike Jones • June 17 2009 05:15AM

Comments

We're going to be seeing more and more of this throughout the west and southwest areas so prone to brush and brush fires. 

I do wonder, however, how the authorities are able to so quickly label a fire "human caused".  It's almost like they were there and witnessed the start.  No doubt, in the absence of lightening, they are right.  But, still, they are so firm and fast with their pronouncements it's almost like they are trying to reassure the populace that only human causes exist. 

I'm not always so sure.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I'm glad I don't live out there I wouldn't want the fear of losing my home to fires too.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) about 11 years ago

GOOD MORNING MIKE!  The hotshots, other volunteers and everyone are doing a great job controlling this fire.  And you are doing a great job reporting about it! -- Gab

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) about 11 years ago

I hope that the fire is contained and that the firefighters are safe.  Good for Kristen Lenhardt!  I love seeing women in non-traditional jobs.  

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 11 years ago

Mike - these photos are fabulous.  The event itself ... well, it's tragic but sometimes will turn out on a positive note.  The underbrush builds up and after being burned off will provide a healthier base to support the wildlife.  Unfortunately, when these fires are set irresponsibly ... the wildlife suffers.  I'm praying for the safety of all those firefighters.  It's a tough job, and feels pretty thankless at times.  And rest assured ... they will smell, taste and feel all that heat and grime for weeks once this thing is stopped.  It's the nature of the beast.

Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) about 11 years ago

Carol,

Thanks for commenting.  So far, bee stings and a sprained knee are the extent of the damage to the firefighters. 

Susan,

Some of the firefighters, I believe, are women too.  Maybe Kristen will visit the blog and comment.

Gab,

Yes they are!  Thanks for commenting.

Russ,

We wouldn't mind having you for a neighbor.  No structures are threatened with this fire so far.

Lenn,

Thanks for being the first to comment!  I like your skepticism!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 11 years ago

Mike,

Spirit in the face of adversity - something that brightens ALL our spirits. Thanks!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) about 11 years ago

Mike, you always do a great job of showing photos of your beloved surroundings, and it so inviting that I think it makes people excited about moving there. That makes your photos on this post all the more poignant. My admiration goes out to these folks for a job that needs a lot more thanks from us.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 11 years ago

Ohhh, I am so afraid of fire.  And, this is so scary. It is good to know that these young people care about our country and will continue to love and work these jobs. 

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 11 years ago

Rebecca,

It certainly is! Thanks for commenting.

Joe,

Thanks for the encouragement to me, and to these firefighters!

Irene,

Yes it does!  Thanks for stopping by.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 11 years ago

Mike even when your stories are intense, your photos are oh so inspiring. You have a knack you do.

Posted by Ronnie Margolis, Kauai Realtor - CDPE, ABR, RA - On Top of the Aloh (KW Kauai) about 11 years ago

Mike, I had read yesterday's post and hoped they had gotten it under control.  I love that so many people are coming to help and applaud them for their hard work.  I hope and pray everyone is safe.

Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) about 11 years ago

Carole,

Everyone is safe, and they're winding down operations tonight.

Ronnie,

Hey, thanks for the encouragement!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 11 years ago

So where does this stand?  Is the fire still burning?  I hate to see fires like this, but as mentioned above, they can be a good thing. 

Posted by Doreen McPherson, Phoenix Arizona Real Estate ~ (Homesmart ~ Scottsdale ~ Tempe) about 11 years ago

As of this afternoon, all of the assets on this fire have been redeployed except for three tankers.  All in all, the Forest Service says it was good for the Baboquivari wilderness.

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 11 years ago

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