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Wed, Jan. 22

The More Things Change: Thank-you planned for firefighters

Fire fighters extinguish hot spots on the Bug Creek Fire near Cordes Lakes.
Photo by Les Stukenberg.

Fire fighters extinguish hot spots on the Bug Creek Fire near Cordes Lakes.

Cordes Lakes and Cordes Junction were extremely lucky last week when the Bug Creek Fire assaulted our community, leaving scars across the landscape. Even though more than 1,000 acres burned and came dangerously close to homes, businesses and the stables, not one single structure was lost, nor were there any injuries. It wasn’t all luck that saved us; it was the combined effort of First Responders Mayer Fire Chief Eric Kriwer and the Mayer Fire Department, assisted by Central Arizona Fire Medical Authority, Prescott Fire Department, Black Canyon City Fire District, Camp Verde Fire District, Prescott National Forest, BLM, AZ State Fire, YCSO, DPS, ADOT, AZDEM, APS, and numerous local volunteers.

Because, as everyone agrees that saying thank you will never be enough to convey our gratitude to these brave men and women, a dynamic group of people joined forces in organizing a community dinner to express our heartfelt thanks. The flier distributed to herald the dinner reflects the feelings of all of us. It says, “We watched in awe as the first responders and air support came roaring in with a force equal to—and ultimately stronger than—the fire itself. Once we were able to breathe an unlabored breath of relief our thoughts immediately went to—how do we thank these heroes?”

Because of overwhelming gratitude, those who live and work in Cordes Lakes/Cordes Junction are holding an Appreciation Dinner on Saturday, July 9, to thank the heroes who saved our town. The event will be at the Cordes Lakes Community Center from 3 to 7 p.m. and features Spaghetti and everything that goes with it. All who worked on the fire are invited, as well as those who wish to thank them. This is not a fundraiser, nor is it a CLCA-sponsored function, it is a communitywide event driven by appreciation.

We, as humans, take so much for granted. Manmade and natural disasters, wars, and epidemics always happen to somebody else, not us. Movies, video games, the news and social media have inured us to the suffering of others, to the point that many just don’t care how their actions affect the rest of the world. They exhibit attitudes like, “So what if there’s a fire ban, I’m going to burn my trash and it’s nobody’s business if I do!”

Yes, it is everybody’s business because of the risks involved. In areas that get very dry, refusing to maintain defensible space around property is endangering more than just the immediate property. Going out to plunk a few rounds when there are fire restrictions is also dangerous. All it takes is one spark from a stray bullet or a carelessly thrown cigarette butt to start a conflagration.

There’s a big difference between freedom and stupidity. The people who bravely fought the Bug Creek Fire gave us all another chance. Let’s pay attention to the lessons learned and show them that we are deserving of the efforts they expended to save our lives and properties.

Until next time.

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