Arizona Wildfire Atascosa Ranch
This photograph was taken on Friday, June 3, 2011. Inside the center of smoke plume is the Atascosa Ranch House, residence of David and Edith Lowell, in Rio Rico, Arizona. Ten miles north of the Mexican Border.
The Forest Service determined to allow this fire to jump Peck Canyon South and go up the North face of the Atascosa Mountains rather than attempt to control the fire, they are simply watching the fire now for four days rather than trying to fight it or control it.
The North Lowell allotment grazing pastures went up in smoke the last three days and the Forest Service is going to allow the second allotment to go up today. The Lowell’s will have to sell their cattle because there is no grass for them to graze on.
The drums along the border say that Border Patrol jumped a group of 12 marijuana backpackers who intentionally set the mountains on fire to effect their escape. Allegedly, between two and three of the illegal alien marijuana backpackers were apprehended and admitted setting the fire. Also, one of these arsonists is reported to be on life support at a local American hospital.
The beating drums also say that the Forest Service will not admit that the fire was caused by illegal aliens, only that it is human caused. Some even wonder if the illegal aliens will be charged or just kicked back across the border.
The border is not secure, America is in jeopardy as are all residents along the Arizona Border. Do not believe otherwise.
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers
Web site: http://nafbpo.org
Paradise residents again asked to leave due to Horseshoe II Fire
BY DEREK JORDAN
SIERRA VISTA — Residents of the small community of Paradise have been asked to leave their homes once again after a second evacuation order was issued by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Thursday evening.
A safety precaution, the evacuation was issued after dry weather and high winds pushed the Horseshoe Two Fire across Rock Creek Canyon and to the northeast, according to the Southwest Area Type One Incident Management Team.
As of Thursday morning, the fire remained at 80,500 acres in size and 75 percent contained.
Prior to the evacuation, crews on the ground continued with work to contain fire that crossed a fire line in the Saulsbury Saddle area.
Work was also being done to complete a six-mile containment line along Tex Canyon Road.
There are five permanent residents and 29 structures in Paradise, according to fire crews in the area.
Arizona Border Fire
PORTAL, Ariz. — It is a dramatic tale: that illegal immigrants being pursued by the Border Patrol started one of the nation’s largest wildfires, which has burned up more than 70,000 acres of national forest along Arizona’s border with Mexico since it began almost four weeks ago. But the authorities say that despite the tale’s being repeated often by some residents of the rugged countryside here, they do not know for sure if it is true.
”Sometimes you can find the true cause and other times you can’t,” said Bill Edwards, the lead ranger at the Coronado National Forest, who told residents at a community meeting on Tuesday night that the so-called Horseshoe 2 Fire was caused by humans but that investigators had not determined who caused it. “Everything else is speculation.”
Border security is such a dominant issue in Arizona that it pops up in many contexts, wildfires included. Because fires surge across the border, from Mexico to the U.S. and vice versa, fighting them presents added logistical challenges in this part of the country. Already this year, a particularly fierce one for fires, dozens of U.S.Forest Service firefighters have crossed over into Mexico with special clearances to try to control fires before they reach the United States.
The Horseshoe 2 fire began on May 8 in Horseshoe Canyon, well north of the border, but many residents still link the blaze directly to Mexico. They point out that mostÂ border crossings occur at night, when it is cold in the mountains and the migrants are likely to start fires for warmth. With the high winds, low humidity and extremely dry conditions in the forest right now, the likelihood of a campfire is especially great.
The story of how it started, so vivid in some accounts that it sounds as if witnesses were peering through the brush as matches were thrown, comes up often in conversations here and was repeated in an open letter that ranchers wrote to President Barack Obama recently, criticizing him as not adequately securing the border.
”You hear people talk about it like they were there,” said Helen Snyder, a retired biologist who settled here 25 years ago. “Some of them even say that the illegal immigrants that started the fire were being pursued by the Border Patrol and that they set the fire maliciously to get away. Now wouldn’t the Border Patrol have called in the fire?”
A Border Patrol spokeswoman referred questions about how the fire started to the Forest Service, which said that lightning had been ruled out but that the investigation was continuing.
”We have trained investigators who are trying to determine how it started,” said Dugger Hughes, the incident commander for the fire, who is based just across the Arizona state line in Rodeo, N.M.“It’s like any arson investigation. They look at burn patterns and they work it back to a tight spot to determine where it began.”
That spot is now marked on Forest Service maps with a red X, with shaded areas representing burnt forest extending in all directions. The fire is now 75 percent contained, firefighters said Wednesday, as smoke from controlled burns billowed up into the clouds.
Hughes acknowledged that relatively few suspects were located in wildfire investigations, but said that when they were found, they faced criminal and civil penalties, including the cost of the firefighting operation, which in the case of the Horseshoe 2 Fire exceeds $20 million.
”We know it was man-caused, and it probably started in a campfire,” Hughes said. “Do we have a suspect? No. And we can’t say it was an immigrant either.”
But some are saying just that.
”Who set the fire?” asked Ed Ashurst, an area rancher who is convinced that he knows. “It’s obvious. There’s a few people in America who don’t think man walked on the moon in 1969. To say that illegal aliens didn’t set the fire is like saying that Neil Armstrong didn’t walk on the moon.”
Ashurst acknowledges that his case is circumstantial. “Did anyone see the aliens drop a match or a cigarette? No. But we all know who started this. Who else would be up there?”
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