22 – Horseshoe 2 Fire (2011)

(This is a part of a series of gleanings from the history of CRC’s 30 years of work; additional posts available here.)

On May 8, 2011, the Horseshoe 2 Fire was upon us. Horseshoe 2 wasn’t fully contained until June 25. By then it had burned virtually all of the Chiricahua Mountain range at 222,954 acres, or 348 square miles, making it the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona history.

At the start of the fire on May 8, Barney Tomberlin––one of Portal Rescue’s volunteer firemen who tackled the new conflagration––estimated those initial flames to be 200 feet high and the convection column of smoke to be 20,000 feet high.

Towering smoke columns of the Horseshoe 2 Fire on June 14, 2011, taken from a commercial airliner
(Photo by Brad Tatham)

Embedded as CRC is in the Chiricahua Mountains, we shared with the larger community the full impact of the Summer of Fire, and closely followed the post-fire restoration efforts.

To give you the experience of that inferno, here is an account based on excerpts from Narca’s blog, posted as the Horseshoe 2 Fire progressed.

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