Preparedness Corner
Special Edition
June 20, 2003
By Paul Vircsik

Hi Neighbors,

Cause and Affect.  A special edition of the “PC” is warranted considering the events happening right now to our neighbors to the south.

Arizona is burning.

For those of you who know residents on the ranch without computers, tell them about this.  The national and local news is exploding with the current fire season.  Over 250 homes lost in under 1 hour.  Sixty mile per hour winds drove the fire across the mountain consuming more than 3200 acres.  The area was ripe for the picking due to drought and an infestation of bark consuming beetles.

The area burned was a mountain community with high plains desert on both sides.  Hmmmm.  The winds are coming.  Our area is also ripe for the picking.  We are a mountain community.  We have high plains on both sides.  The fire should be contained in 2-3 weeks.  That is a lot of acreage still yet to burn.  The cause is still under investigation.

But who cares what the cause is, their homes and landscapes are burning.  There is no time to wonder about the cause, it doesn’t matter with flames coming your way.  People interviewed said a man came to their door, told them to leave and the home owners had maybe 30 minutes to get out, leave.  They know that what they will return to is ashes.  Homes, memories, dreams, gone.

Now the big question.  ARE YOU READY?  Have you prepared the outside, inside and personal items for an evacuation?  Have you located your vital documents and put them in a ready place?  Have you ever been ready?  Practiced the evacuation?  Put the goods in the car with the pets and left.  Even to the end of the driveway?  How long will it take to get everything ready that I have harped on everyone for over 5 years now?  Have you approached your neighbor for help if the worst happens?  Offered any?  With all the emergency and fire personnel on the ranch, we should have the greatest percentage of helpers per capita anywhere.

I think now would be a good time to practice.  Right now.  I will repeat it.

RIGHT NOW!  Daddy’s day is over, the 4th is next month.  Do something this weekend to hopefully save your homestead.  It might help slow the fire so my place isn’t taken.

Cause and Affect.  What you do or don’t do affects you and me.

And for you Firefighters out there, an excerpt from a recent article that can be read on

The firefighter passed away Thursday due to severe injuries he suffered while working on a controlled burn on Sawtooth Mountain on May 14.

He was working alone when he was overtaken by flames. The accident is still under investigation, Palmer said. However, "With his passing it may remain a mystery," she said.

Investigators know that he did deploy his fire shelter, but they don't know whether he was able to use it or if the wind and fire blew it away. After the fire burned over him, he walked half a mile to the location where a helicopter picked him up and transported him to the hospital.

How many rules were broken just in this passage?  Be careful this year.

See you all soon,

Meet the author: Read about Paul Vircsik's background