2 pm | SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Arizona author Diane Helm experienced firsthand what it was like to live through the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire. Join Helm as she recounts those harrowing events in Fire on the Wind: A Personal Narrative of the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire and Early Prospecting History of Yavapai County, Arizona Territory. Helm will bring her personal photos to share with the audience.
About the Book
Fire on the Wind is a firsthand account of this century’s most deadly wildland fire, the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona. On June 30th, the epic phenomenon blazed through two historic communities while taking the lives of 19 elite hotshots within its path. Since the fire was thought to be “going the other way,” when it turned around, unprepared residents left everything behind and drove to safety, bumper to bumper through blinding smoke. DJ (Diane Helm) and her husband were nearly caught in the rolling ball of flames after securing their animals safely in the barn. Barely out-running the inferno, DJ slammed the door in its face, seconds before it began its assault on their home. Watching in disbelief, through black windows, as fire, smoke, and hailing embers enveloped their property, there was nothing they could do but wait it out.
The Helm property, Not Muchuva Ranch, became involved with the Yarnell Hill Fire because of its close proximity (1/3 of a mile) to the fatality site. The Hotshots were headed for the ranch to their designated safety zone. With no other way to get across the valley to the site on the side of the mountain to retrieve the firefighters, officials began using the ranch for access. Investigators and family members continued using the access for three years.
This book will hopefully give the reader a new and different interpretation of the Yarnell Hill Fire of 2013 and an awareness to this historic part of Yavapai County, Arizona, that is home to the author and others who enjoy its beauty.
About the Author
Diane J. Helm enjoys peaceful mountainscapes in Yarnell, Arizona, with Lee, her husband of 52 years. The 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire and all that happened because of its fury is a memory now. The vegetation destroyed by the fire is growing back except for the trees, which will take years. Time sculpted boulders stained by soot have been washed by welcome rains and returned to their natural glory. Though DJ had never written a book until now, Fire On The Wind has re-opened her interest in writing. She had taken a writing course for children in the 1980s but at the same time became involved in the antique business and writing fell by the wayside. Raising kids, starting a business with her husband, ten years in real estate, and eventually becoming the caretaker of a barn full of animals, there wasn't much time for anything else. Though the animals are still a big part of her life, DJ is working on several children's books, and an historical fiction is in the making. "I don't know why it took Fire On The Wind to get me going, the desire to write has been deep within me for so long." It's time to turn it loose!"