Tag Archives: fire

La Yacata is Sometimes More Interesting than TV

Things have been rather blase here in La Yacata. Not a lot going on. However, on Sábado de Gloria this year, we were treated to an episode nearly as exciting as “Cops.” 

The day started out ho-hum enough. We had some chicken soup culled from our flock. This one happened to be an egg eater, and you know, once an egg-eater, always an egg-eater. So it had to go. My husband was having a high time cooking with his barrel grill (it’s literally just a barrel with a hole cut in the side to add the wood). 

Anyway, as I was getting ready to go on my daily swim, my husband called me over to the back porch. It turned out that someone had started a fire and the entire section of La Yacata behind the house was on fire. That someone most likely belonged to the crew that had a late-night party on the lot with a “pool” and pavilion area. Perhaps trying to clean up, they lit a fire that quickly got out of hand. It is the dry season, after all. 

The blaze was enormous and fast. It moved along the lots at a breakneck pace. Then it hit the lot where the owner had piled up about 100 tires, and the neighbor had been dumping his cow poop, and man, did it ever gobble those up. Clouds of billowing black smoke covered the sky. 

The black smoke was enough to alert someone from town who sent Protección Civil. They arrived first, followed by the police. The third to arrive was the fire truck. When they saw that it was now a tire blaze, they set to work.

Or, more accurately, they sent a woman to do a man’s job. You know, it’s all about equal opportunity and all. Although it may have something to do with the fact they only have one firesuit, and most of the firemen’s bellies were too big to fit in it. 

So anywhere, here’s this girl that weighed maybe 100 pounds soaking wet out there in the field with the fire hose battling the blaze. The buff police officers were busy taking videos. The other firemen were still sitting in the truck.  

A few other police vehicles arrived, and even more officers with bulging biceps were milling about. A second fire truck arrived. The new man they sent out into the flames was at least 70 if he was a day. The second truck had some hooks that the fire guys started to use to move the tires out of the way, but it was mostly too late. I saw a few consider using their wet mops to beat out the fire, but I guess they figured it would have to burn itself out.

The fire continued on up the road and up the hill, at least a mile. Eventually, the fun was over, and everyone left. I went out for my swim finally. 

Although the fire was put out, those piles of cow poop continued to smolder overnight. The air quality was horrendous the next day and the next. We did make the local news site, so there’s that!

Maybe La Yacata needs a theme song….

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?


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Surviving Fire in La Yacata


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.



Filed under Carnival posts, Safety and Security