Running from the Fire: Our Escape

A preface: In 2000 the Cerro Grande fire burned over 48,00 acres and over 400 homes in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico. Many families in the Los Alamos Ward were among those whose homes were lost or damaged. As a result of this fire, the Los Alamos Ward has been in a “preparedness” mindset for the last 11 years.

Las Conchas fire smoke, June 26, 2011. Photo by Joyce Anderson

June 26, 2011. My husband stepped out on to the back patio to check something in the yard. He looked up and noticed a wall of smoke billowing in the sky over hour home. It wasn’t a rain cloud, it was a pyro-cloud. The sun was also blood-red, a sure sign that something was not right. We turned on our computer and did some checking. A forest fire had started about an hour and a half earlier on a ranch about 15 miles south and west of our home. Because we have been in the most severe drought in New Mexico’s recorded history we decided to get a few things ready just in case we had to evacuate. We’d sat in enough fifth-Sunday lessons on preparedness and had listened to the stories our fellow ward members told about the Cerro Grande fire to know that forest fires were nothing to joke about. Continue reading