Flagstaff on Fire!

***Photos from the Arizona Daily Sun and my friend, Melissa Settle.

We got quite a scare this last week in Flagstaff, Arizona.  If you're not familiar with the area, I'll tell you a little bit about it.  Flagstaff is NOT in the desert.  It is a mountain town in Northern Arizona and we get, on average, about 100 inches of snow each winter.  Didn't know that, did you?  We have such cool, dry summers, that very few people in this town even have air conditioners.

But speaking of dry... it is very dry here.  Sometimes we have humidity levels at less than 5 percent.  There are FIVE seasons in Flagstaff.  Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Fire Season.  We are always at risk for forest fires, but the risk greatly increases from April to the beginning of July, when our Monsoon rains begin.

This year was different, though.  We had a lot of rain and even snow in April and May and then... nothing!  The 4th of July came and still no Monsoon rains.  There have been a few small fires that were quickly extinguished, but then Sunday, July 21st came.  We noticed a relatively small fire on the mountain as we were leaving church.  That small fire grew very quickly within a few hours.  It had consumed 400 acres by the end of the day.  By Monday morning, it had grown to 1,000 acres and several neighborhoods were put on evacuation notice.  By the next day, it was up to 1,800 acres.

For the past week, we have heard the constant traffic of helicopters and air tankers.  The air has been so smoky, we couldn't leave our windows open.  Ashes have been falling in my yard (and I'm 5 miles from the fire).  

The view from my friend's house.  See the flames in the upper left?
Two of my good friends are in the path of the fire.  For one, the fire was within a half mile of her house.

Thank you, Jesus, it rained on Wednesday and a little bit on Thursday.  Not terribly hard, but for long enough that it extinguished the grasses that were burning.  We all woke up to a beautiful rainbow over the mountain.  A sign that, while the fire may still be burning, we all believe we'll eventually be okay.

There are still dense areas of trees burning.  As of today, July 27th, the fire is still only 12 percent contained.

The fire is not heading toward my friend's house at this point and last night she had a party at her house, which she called Our-House-Didn't-Catch-Fire-Friday.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to be human caused.  This is a good reminder to all campers, but especially those who camp in the western United States—be sure your campfires are fully extinguished!

It's touching how a community comes together in times of crisis.  Many people have taken in the livestock of those who had to evacuate.  A local boarding kennel is taking in pets at no charge for those who had to leave their homes.  And my friends tell me they have received offer upon offer for places to stay.

The sky is still filled with smoke.  The mountain glows and eerie orange at night.  Our town is not out of danger, yet, and each day we continue to pray for rain!  Flagstaff appreciates your prayers.


  1. Oh Wow Jenn, Sorry to hear this and will sure be praying now that I know.
    That is so neat that the Lord sent yall a rainbow. He is so good.
    Hoping these fires are totally contained very soon.
    Glad you are safe! and will be praying it stays that way.

    1. Thanks, Nellie! I appreciate your prayers... we all do!

  2. Such a nice blog post. Prayers are still flowing for the peple of Flagstaff. Im grateful the fire is no longer directly burning a path to your friend...

    1. Thanks, Jill! We appreciate the prayers. Hope you're doing well.

  3. So sorry to hear this!! Sending prayers....Thanks so much for stopping by!!