Fire chiefs kept busy as start of hunting season led to blazes

SUSANNAH CARNEY and BRUCE CARL ERTMANN Special to the Daily Sun

100 years ago

1922: Armistice Day, Saturday, and Flagstaff was observed fittingly by our youngest patriotic organization, which, by common agreement, was given the day to do with just what they liked. The business places were closed all afternoon. A parade was staged by La Society 40 Hommes et 8 Chevaux early in the afternoon preliminary to the initiation of a lot of new members. The real ceremonies took place behind closed door of the hall over the green Louis drugstore, and while nonmembers do not know what happened, they can surmise it was plenty judging from the started yelps, deep groans and bursts of laughter that frequently penetrated to the outside . The ceremonies were designed to remind the novitiates of a time a few years ago when they embarked for France, the disembarkation at Brest, and what happened after that. But as far as the real ocean voyage was concerned, it is reported that the initiation last Saturday was far more thrilling and fear inspiring. The society now has 25 members meet every Monday night in Flagstaff. That society is that part of the American Legion, that is divided to share fun, good fellowship, and nonsense, and judging from the enthusiasm, members, it must be fully living up to its code.

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75 years ago

1947: During the first four days of the deer hunting season, careless hunters caused nearly 30 fires on Coconino and Kaibab national forests. It was reported today by US Forest Service fire chiefs on the two great timbered areas. A hunter caused a fire in the Dead Man’s Flat area about 16 miles south and a little east of Flagstaff on the north side of the San Francisco peaks. The fire blazed out of control Wednesday but was contained late that day following a light coating of snow. The forest is still dangerously dry, and those going into the woods are warned to be extremely cautious with fire. The Dead Man’s fire burned about 200 acres so far. More than 20 men were kept on it through Wednesday night and into Thursday. On Kaibab, more than 20 acres of good timber was destroyed Wednesday, just south of Kendrick Mountain about 15 miles from Flagstaff. According to Fire Chief S. Sewell, another hunter caused a blaze in that same area Saturday, burning more than 50 acres of also very good timber. It was reported that the fire at Dead Man’s Flat would be completely under control today if threatening high winds don’t scatter the blaze to a new area. Both chiefs asked media outlets to repeat their warning: “Hunters! Be careful with fire.”

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

Northern Arizona University students work to stay warm Thursday night during the annual Homecoming bonfire on campus as snow flurries fall.

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A student at Northern Arizona University takes a selfie with her cellphone during a snow flurry Thursday night on campus during the Homecoming bonfire.

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

Students gather around a huge flame Thursday night during the annual Homecoming bonfire at Northern Arizona University.

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses flaming batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus as heavy snow competed with the flames.

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses LED batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus.

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses flaming batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus as heavy snow competed with the flames.

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses flaming batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

Northern Arizona University students work to stay warm Thursday night during the annual Homecoming bonfire on campus as snow flurries fall.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A student at Northern Arizona University takes a selfie with her cellphone during a snow flurry Thursday night on campus during the Homecoming bonfire.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

Students gather around a huge flame Thursday night during the annual Homecoming bonfire at Northern Arizona University.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses flaming batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus as heavy snow competed with the flames.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses LED batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses flaming batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus as heavy snow competed with the flames.



NAU Homecoming Bonfire

NAU Homecoming Bonfire

A member of the Northern Arizona University twirling team uses flaming batons to perform with Thursday night during the Homecoming bonfire on campus.

50 years ago

1972: Harry Metzger straightened his cowboy hat and glanced off in the distance. “They should be coming anytime now,” he said. The veteran cowboy began to reflect back on other eras. His 82 years have seen many changes. He had been at this same site many times before. But Saturday afternoon, it was to be different. It was the last time he would see this bit of western lore. The sound of trucks could be heard coming over the overpass that leads to meteor crater. Puffs of dust could be seen churning in the air as the trucks veered into the other direction. They were headed for Sunshine, a railhead for shipping cattle and sheep. Thousands of livestock had passed through the weathered pens that now wore a graying coat. Prodded, the cattle began heading into the pens as the sun began to set in the distance. Harry talked about the old days when he left his home in Ohio and headed West as a young man. He rode his horse from Montana to Flagstaff in 1911 as a cow puncher. “In those days, things were different” he said. He talked of riding on the back of the train or sneaking into the smoker car on the return trip from the cattle delivery. This story has become rarer and rarer in recent years. Nowadays, cattle are transported by truck. The railroads just don’t want to mess with them. It hadn’t always been like this. Heck, in the old days, thousands and thousands of cattle and thousands of Indian sheep had used the same railroad for shipment to distant points. The last of the shipments from the area was the story that was written during the weekend. There haven’t been many cattle here for years. There are fewer and fewer of these along the rail line now. “I’m here for the first and last time, all in the same day,” said one of the ranch hands as he began to lead the cattle toward the loading platform so that all would be in readiness when the train-switcher arrived. A short distance away, nine empty cattle cars sat motionless.

25 years ago

1997: From the public record on this day in 1997:

• A 26-year-old man died after falling from Yaki Point on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park on Thursday. National Park Service rangers responded to reports of the fall near the South Kaibab Trail at about 5:30 pm Rangers located the victim about 400 feet below the rim, where he was pronounced dead at the scene. The body was expected to be taken to the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office in Flagstaff.

• A Mount Ellen Middle School student who was angry with a school counselor allegedly wrote two threatening notes to the woman. The counselor told police she saw the girl writing the notes while two friends stood beside her, then saw the notes drop into her office through an open door. The notes said the counselor was going to die, called her an obscene name and accused the counselor of brainwashing another student to make her go away to Yuma. The counselor did not want to press charges against the girls.

• A Flagstaff medical office that loaned equipment to an employee had to call police to get it returned. Officers gave the borrowed electrolysis machine back to plastic surgeons of northern Arizona on Thursday after contacting the woman who had it.

• An 18-year-old Flagstaff man was booked into Coconino County jail for felony theft after allegedly stealing cash and a tie from his employer. Steven Lee Humphrey was arrested after a Sears manager reported the store had discovered the theft. According to Flagstaff police, Humphrey admitted taking $1,400 in cash and an $11 black tie between late August and mid-September.

• Bicyclists riding in the area of ​​the Interstate 40 and I-17 intersection should use the Flagstaff Urban Trail System rather than Highway 89, according to the Arizona Department of transportation.

• A judge on Thursday dropped one of the charges against a woman being tried for murder in the death of her son. Prosecutors did not prove that Judy Booty conspired with her husband to commit child abuse against 3-year-old Tyler Booty. The father still faces charges of first-degree murder and child abuse in connection to the death.

• Three prescribed burns may make smoke visible in the Flagstaff area this week, according to the Coconino National Forest.

All events were taken from issues of the Arizona Daily Sun and its predecessors, the Coconino Weekly Sun and the Coconino Sun.

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