Pattridge Open Space Fire
On October 11, 2020, the Pattridge Open Space was set on fire. The Pattridge Open Space is a grassy, plain area directly next to the neighborhood I live in, called Spring Mesa. This was extremely unnerving and downright dangerous because the Pattridge Open Space is close to many people’s houses. It got so close to someone’s house that it melted their trampoline.
On that day, winds were up to 30-40 miles per hour, which definitely assisted the fire in spreading as wind helps fires spread. When the fire started getting closer, smoke began to fill the air, and my neighbors Bentley and Brayden Craft drove up to the source. They stopped before cresting a hill, and soon enough the fire appeared over the top of the hill. Immediately, they both jumped on the 4 wheeler and drove back, to be evacuated minutes later. As Bentley said, “The fire was moving very fast, and I was scared it might outrun our four wheeler.” The grass was dry and the winds were high which are prime conditions for fire spreading.
People’s first hint that there was a fire nearby was when the smoke started to infiltrate the neighborhood air, but even then no one left. One family called the police and a mandatory evacuation was called. My mom, Samantha Smith’s thoughts on no one leaving initially were, “I was worried when I saw the smoke, however, I thought it might have just blown in from the mountains. After all, the winds were some of the highest I’d seen in my life with a clear sky.” My family and I were some of the first to evacuate, and we definitely did not leave immediately. When the evacuation started, emotions were running high and fear was in the air along with the smoke. “We were told to turn on our sprinklers to stop the spread of the fire,” Smith said. This led many to believe that our houses were in real danger of burning down. Fortunately, there wasn’t any damage to anyone’s actual house.
It was possibly even scarier for people who weren’t there, as they couldn’t get live updates. They just had to hope blindly that the fire didn’t get too far. This was how it was for sophomore Cody Noall. His family was on vacation in Utah. “We were getting information, but not very quickly, and not up to date. We also did not have the opportunity to grab important things from our house. Anything we did not bring to Utah was in danger,” said Noall. All in all, it was a worrying and stress-inducing experience for all involved. Fortunately, since the fire happened it most likely will not happen again for many years, so we should be grateful that it happened at a time when it was stoppable.