April 6, 2009 – I looked out our back kitchen door last Thursday evening, and there was this fire. Actually, the flames were quite a lot higher then. I immediately called Kelly to come and take a look. Gusts of wind rattled our trees as we stared at it. It seemed that we were not in real danger, but we talked a little about it. The flames were less than a kilometer away, we guessed, in the steep hills directly behind San Juan Cosala.
By the time Kelly got his camera out, it had died down to this, and soon few flames were visible. About that time the smell of smoke came our way, and we closed up the house for much of the evening.
Evidently a farmer had been burning a field in preparation for planting corn, something that has gone on here for centuries. Our maid Rosa told us that the fire department came. We heard from Roberto, our pool guy and close friend, that several years ago a fire of this sort went up into the mountains and burned for four days. A helicopter fought that fire with water from Lake Chapala.
Scary.It has been a very dry winter and we are now in the last couple of months of so of the dry season. It’s in the mid to upper 80s every day. Everything is dry. Cultural differences between Mexicans and North Americans towards fire safety are pretty big. Scary. Oh, I said that.
Yesterday morning Kelly and a friend went hiking in the hills, and the trail took them right through the burned area, which Kelly thought might have been 50 or more acres. Given the dryness and the gusty winds, that’s lucky. Behind the burned area you can see houses of the Raquet Club, a nice development inhabited mostly by foreigners. There was a lot of damage there last September from the waterspout.
Lucky. Oh, I said that.