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Episcopalians respond to Arizona fires

Episcopalians respond to Arizona fires

Arizona is on fire. Fires in the southeastern and eastern parts of the state, and as of last night in the north very near Flagstaff, are spreading almost unchecked. The largest, the Wallow fire is not contained and is rapidly spreading because of the dry windy conditions. Episcopalians around the state are organizing a response in concert with other church organizations.

From an news report on The Diocese of Arizona’s website:

“The Rev. Lucie Thomas, Nogales: “Please keep the people of Tubac and Rio Rico in your prayers as the Murphy Fire is still not contained. I have a number of parishioners who live along the edge of Peck Canyon. The firefighters are doing a good job and so far no evacuations have had to take place, although one of our ranching families has lost about two-thirds of their grazing allotment. Some members of St. Andrew’s made and delivered 200 energy packets for those on the fire lines on Saturday.” June 6, 2011

The Rev. Stewart McDonald, Trinity Lutheran-Episcopal Congregation, Willcox: “With all the wild fires around here, our air is really smoky. It was especially bad in Willcox with the Wallow fire to the north and the Horseshoe 2 fire just south. Please add a prayer for rain to break this drought. We have had less than a half an inch this year. It is really, really dry and dangerous.” June 5, 2011″

More here.

Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix is collecting emergency supplies on behalf of the diocese for the firefighters and the people being displaced. The Senior Warden of Church of Our Savior in Lakeside will be coming by on Friday morning to transport the supplies to the area. If you’re in Phoenix, or know someone in the area, everyone would be grateful for the help.

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Paul Martin

Nick, I thought I would offer a perspective from those of us downwind from this fire. I am in Albuquerque, some 400 miles away from the Wallow fire. Since last Thursday, almost every night has brought an ash cloud into our area. The arrival of the ash causes some bizarre lighting effects when combined with the setting sun. Most lower-income homes in this area are cooled by swamp coolers (“evaporative cooler” is the official name) which are operated with the windows open. These units offer no filtration of the air, and the local health officials are advising us to shut the coolers down and close our windows when the ash arrives. I am hearing reports of ash and reduced visibility as far away as Denver.

I cannot imagine what the air is like closer to the fire. My prayers go out to those brave men and women who are fighting this blaze, and to those directly affected. My point is, if we can see effects like this 400 miles away, this fire is enormous. This fire is at least close to the biggest in Arizona history, and it is about to spread into New Mexico. At 0% containment, this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

Paul Martin

A Girl Called Dusty

I am a proud 5th generation Arizonan and grew up just outside of Willcox in a place called Kansas Settlement. This fire makes me so sad. I know a lot of the families who live up on the mountain. Many of them came to Arizona about the same time my family did.

This has been a hard year for my community. We started the year out by having the main building of our high school burn down, and now this. It is hard to watch from abroad. My community like many others in the U.S. needs all the help we can get.

Britt Farbo

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