Some warn that the world will be destroyed in a massive fire based on the words recorded by the Apostle Peter at 2 Peter 3:4-14. Therefore, fire is a possible Apocalyptic event. In that case, the best place to survive a fire, in my humble opinion, is La Yacata.
Houses just aren’t built of wood here, so house fires are rare even with the inordinate use of candles in religious thingys. That’s really good because most houses have bars on the windows which are supposed to keep people out but would also keep people in, in the event of a house fire. Most buildings here are no higher than 2 stories either, which is good, as there aren’t a lot of fire escapes to well, escape fires. However, wildfires are pretty common.
Fire is a regular occurrence in La Yacata for a variety of reasons. The area is very dry 3/4 of the year and any little thing might set off a major fire. Police officers throwing a cigarette butt out the window, a trash fire gone wild, a fire set to rid the area of overgrown weeds or clearing a fallow field, an unattended campfire caught in the breeze, deliberate fire setting in revenge for supposed neighbor’s wrongs and so on. Well, you get the idea. (See Hate Thy Neighbor)
There is a fire department in Moroleon, with its own Facebook page even. It’s actually in the same building as the Red Cross directly in front of the school I work at. You can call them and they will come (perhaps) to fight the fire. However, I’ve seen their equipment. The last time they arrived in La Yacata, there were 4 firefighters. One had the fire hat, one had the fire boots, one had the fire coat and the last one had a wet mop. All righty then! Plus, there is a cost involved. The person that calls has to pay, so hardly anyone calls.
It’s also possible to call Proteccion Civil and they’ll come out and take a look at the fire. Their gear consists of a telephone and a fancy pickup, not even a wet mop, but they don’t charge for their visit.
So, you can see, in the event of a fire, you’re on your own in La Yacata. Our fire safety procedure is pretty much “Circle the Wagons.” Once a fire has been sighted, we head to the roof to get a good look at where it is in relation to the house and which way it seems to be heading. Then we make sure everything and everyone are inside the walls of our little ranchito. All vehicles are parked in the garage, all animals are returned to their corrals, all family members are accounted for. Then we wait it out.
We have a “Defendable Fire Zone with Smart Landscaping” around our house. The front of the house is flush with the sidewalk/road area. There are no flammable items there once the vehicles are parked in. The right side of the house is flush with another brick building. The pigs at the neighbor’s will fry before the fire would reach us. The smell of burnt bacon should give us enough warning to evacuate in that case. The left of the house has an animal track that is wide enough to stop most blazes. There are no trees within 20 feet of the house either on the left side or behind the house. Our home and walls are brick. Our roof is cement. (See Up on the Roof that Nearly Wasn’t).
If the fire looks as if it can be controlled, we snap off some green leafy branches and start swatting away. After all, fire can do quite a bit of damage, not only to crops in the area, but also nopales (cactus) and tunas (prickly pears).
Once things have cooled down, the goats love to head out and eat the toasted vinas (seed pods) that fall from the mesquite trees. Yum! And soon enough, nature returns and the earth is covered yet again in sprouting vegetation.
So there you have it! Surviving a fire in La Yacata is not exactly a piece of cake, but completely doable, although I’m not completely sure that it would survive a firestorm like that which hit Sodom and Gomorrah back in the day. Guess we’ll just hope La Yacata won’t incur the wrath of God while we’re living there.
6 responses to “Surviving Fire in La Yacata”
We have a brand new fire station complete with fire truck in Bacalar. Does it cost? It never occurred to me to ask. We’re in a drought, so keeping an eye on those fires, mostly set to clear brush, is important. Thanks for the entertaining cuenta.
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Nothing in Mexico is free! You betcha it costs! The question is how much and who to pay. It’d be a good idea to find that out before an emergency. Be Prepared! 😉
I enjoyed reading your post. I come from Australia, where bush fires are a common occurrence, and can threaten houses. Our landscape is built for fires, and many of the native trees rely on fires in order to germinate their seed pods. Our houses aren’t as well designed for it as yours seem to be though!
Ros from Fangirl Stitches
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That’s so fascinating, trees that rely on fire to germinate! Nature is truly amazing! Thanks for sharing!
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