Campers share story of narrowly escaping fast moving forest fire


When KOAT interviewed the four men Monday, all said they thought could have died in a forest fire Saturday night.They are APD officers and an Army veteran who were hunting and camping in Northern New Mexico.APD officer Ryan Holets said the trip was going well, until late Saturday night when his shoulder really bothered him.”I woke up, it just wasn’t letting me sleep. I was just like why is this bothering me I really would like to be sleeping I wish the pain would go away,” Holets said. He said he left the tent to use the restroom when he saw the fire.”The entire sky to our south and east was just orange.” The men went to the top of the ridge to get a better look.The fire was moving quickly toward them, fueled by high winds.Officer Matt Fisher woke up his 11-year-old son. All of them grabbed what they could and got into their trucks.”I could see the mountainside next to us just exploding white with light as each tree caught on fire so we knew we were out of time we had to ditch the tent, we had to ditch our canopies, tables, coolers we just left it at that point and we got out of there,” Holets said.As they drove down the mountain, a giant tree had fallen over the road, trapping the men and boy. They were surrounded by smoke and flames. At one point, Holets called his wife.”I think anybody who feels like they’re about to go through something life or death would give anything for that chance to say ‘hey, I love you,’ that one last time,” Holets said. The men decided to pour water on pillowcases, cover their faces with them to protect them from the smoke, and eventually were able to move the tree.On the way down the mountain, at least five other trees had fallen on the road as well.”My poor son, he was in the back and he would beg me to stay in the truck. He would say dad please don’t go, I had to. I had to keep fighting,” Fisher said.The three officers, Army veteran and little boy, made it out. They said their training helped. Their faith did too.”I think every single person, and I speak for all of all of us that we credit God getting us out of there because by all rights, we should be dead, we shouldn’t have gotten out of there alive,” Holets said.He said on the way down the mountain, they also woke up other campers and hunters and alerted them of the fire.

When KOAT interviewed the four men Monday, all said they thought could have died in a forest fire Saturday night.

They are APD officers and an Army veteran who were hunting and camping in Northern New Mexico.

APD officer Ryan Holets said the trip was going well, until late Saturday night when his shoulder really bothered him.

“I woke up, it just wasn’t letting me sleep. I was just like why is this bothering me I really would like to be sleeping I wish the pain would go away,” Holets said. He said he left the tent to use the restroom when he saw the fire.

“The entire sky to our south and east was just orange.” The men went to the top of the ridge to get a better look.

The fire was moving quickly toward them, fueled by high winds.

Officer Matt Fisher woke up his 11-year-old son. All of them grabbed what they could and got into their trucks.

“I could see the mountainside next to us just exploding white with light as each tree caught on fire so we knew we were out of time we had to ditch the tent, we had to ditch our canopies, tables, coolers we just left it at that point and we got out of there,” Holets said.

As they drove down the mountain, a giant tree had fallen over the road, trapping the men and boy. They were surrounded by smoke and flames. At one point, Holets called his wife.

“I think anybody who feels like they’re about to go through something life or death would give anything for that chance to say ‘hey, I love you,’ that one last time,” Holets said.

The men decided to pour water on pillowcases, cover their faces with them to protect them from the smoke, and eventually were able to move the tree.

On the way down the mountain, at least five other trees had fallen on the road as well.

“My poor son, he was in the back and he would beg me to stay in the truck. He would say dad please don’t go, I had to. I had to keep fighting,” Fisher said.

The three officers, Army veteran and little boy, made it out. They said their training helped. Their faith did too.

“I think every single person, and I speak for all of all of us that we credit God getting us out of there because by all rights, we should be dead, we shouldn’t have gotten out of there alive,” Holets said.

He said on the way down the mountain, they also woke up other campers and hunters and alerted them of the fire.



Source link

Posted in: Latest News

Comments are closed.