Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Tell Us Your Fire Story


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Photo Erick Stahlin/TNC
At the Conservancy, our hearts go out to everyone suffering from the recent megafires that have drastically impacted people's homes, lives and livelihoods across North America. In times like these our hope above all is for the safety of firefighters and residents, with minimal loss of property.

So far in 2012 more than 50 Conservancy staff have worked on wildfires affecting more than a dozen states. Our fire team stands at the ready to continue to help state and firefighting efforts when called upon. In addition to our fire team, Conservancy staffs also live in communities that are facing the threat of megafires. They have been generous enough to offer their personal perspectives in our Wildfire Journal.

We would be honored to hear about your experience with the fires. We are all in this together and by sharing our stories across the country, we can support each other.

Thank you in advance for reading our stories and sharing yours.

Comments from the Community

I experienced seeing a fire that started at the garden near a day-care center. I was about 13-15 years old. As it started spreading the fire trucks were on the roads. The fire started spreading and hit several trees in most of the neighborhood backyards. My grandma and me ran out to see it and I was shocked. It was a big fire. I don't know if any animals were harmed but I do remember seeing some people from the other houses on the roadside. I had dreams about fire starters and even experienced how portable heaters can start on fire. Lucky I caught it in time.

As I enter my 57th year watching the four seasons come and go, I am not surprised by the dramatic change in the weather, in my own yard, community, state and the US. I was not prepared to actually witness the fast moving changes in weather. I thought, "I won't be here to know how the earth will react to our lifestyle". Not true. I do my little part every day to ramain committed and diligent to my responsibility to living in respect of the earth. I believe I only rent space here during my lifespan. I have no right to damage the earth. That is sinful, if one can judge what is right and wrong. I find that an abomination. I notice the news in the US gives the famous and wealthy attention, power, credit, the assumption they "know" what is good for this country, etc. I wonder what the carbon footprint is for wealthy, famous who are wealthy, and many Americans that are considered "privileged"? For example, what is the carbon footprint of Speaker John Boehner, congressmen and women, Ellen Degeneres, Brad and Angolina Pitt, Justin Bieber, Bill Clinton. These people are talented and they use more natural resources buy multiple, large homes, multiple cars that are damaging the environment, buying and flying their own air planes. The list goes on. I would like to ALSO see and know the estimated carbon footprint of these people. We all, including the wealthy, must change.

Jerry Andersen
In July of this year, about 80,000 acres burned in the Niobrara River valley in northern Nebraska. It happened in an area that was saved from a large dam construction project by a small group of ranchers and conservationists (including myself) about 30 years ago. When that Bureau of Reclamation project was finally halted, the Conservancy established a large reserve in the area, and has been working with controlled burns. If it hadn't been for those efforts, the fires this past summer would no doubt have been far worse. I'm happy to be a supporter of the Nature Conservancy.

everyone needs to help the invirment some animalas are dieing because we are litering if you liter while you are walking pick it up dont just leave it there!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stop buying products that use palm oil as an ingredient. Orangutans are losing their home forests at an alarming rate just because short-sighted and sometimes greedy manufacturers don't want to use anything but palm oil. If we stop support of palm oil products these companies will get the message in loss of profits and find alternative ways to make their products palm-oil free.

David L. Kennedy
By the time I was an Eagle Scout, I had a great appreciation for the great outdoors: to use it & protect it. Now I have my own 70 acre Tree Farm that I manage in WI.

Living with a monster nearby changes you in lasting ways. The smell of smoke makes your heart beat faster and you can't rest until you identify the source. For awhile, the sound of sirens made everyone stop what they were doing and see what and where the emergency was. "Oh, thank God it is just a horrible car wreck." Things like that.

I am thankful that this year my community appears to be spared, now that the monsoon is starting. Still, living in the urban-wildland interface, who knows what next fire season will bring? One week before the Little Bear fire ravaged a large part of New Mexico's White Mountain Wilderness and destroyed 242 residences/businesses near Ruidoso, I was doing wilderness inventory there as a volunteer with the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance. The little trout I saw are now dead. The beautiful vistas are utterly changed and the high-intensity crown fire areas will not recover in my lifetime.

Leslie Molessa
We live across the street from Mountain Shadows, in Colorado Springs, where most of the devestation occurred. We were evacuated for 6 days. It was a very scary time, and if not for the courageous firefighters many more of us would have lost our houses. The mountain view from our front door is now charred land. It is a sad reminder of what happened on June 26, 2012.

Bruce Harshberger
From our protected home in Loveland, CO we could look up daily for 3 weeks at the ballooning smoke clouds west of us, knowing that there were courageous and dedicated firefighters there. We are very thankful for them! They are good government at its best.

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