FNS: House Fire in Creel Illustrates Contrasts near Chihuahua's Copper Canyon
- FNS: House Fire in Creel Illustrates Contrasts near Chihuahua's Copper Canyon
Date: 10/7/2002 11:49:36 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Chihuahua's Copper Canyon, known in Spanish as the Barranca del Cobre, is said to rival the US's Grand Canyon. However, despite its wealth of mountains, waterfalls and cacti forests, the area lacks other things. Copper Canyon's indigenous inhabitants, known as the Tarahumara or Rarámuri, are facing considerable challenges in the form of bad harvests, malnutrition, illegal tree cutting and narcotrafficking.
Another contrast is to be found in Creel, the city that is known as the gateway to Copper Canyon.
According to a Chihuahua City newspaper, El Heraldo, Creel (population 6,500) will soon have an international airport to bring more tourists to the area. However, as was evidenced on Saturday, October 5, the area lacks basic community services like modern fire-fighting equipment.
On that day, the wooden home of the Moreno family caught on fire. To fight the blaze and contain it from spreading, passersby quickly formed a bucket brigade between the house and a nearby stream. Soon, neighbors were running to the scene as well.
Later, the city's antiquated water tanker that serves as a fire truck showed up at the house. Despite its best efforts, the tanker was outperformed by the stream of buckets and neighbors that turned their garden hoses against the fire.
By the time fire was suffocated, the Moreno family, a couple with three kids, had lost everything including the family car that was parked near the house. Fortunately, Gustavo Moreno, the father of the family, had just been recalled to a nearby lumber mill after a three-month period of no work.
Fernando Pérez Ortiz, Creel's mayor, told El Heraldo that he believed that the city's water tanker was too old. The city now needs a real fire department, he stated.
Source: El Heraldo (Chihuahua City), October 7, 2002. Article by Pedro Sánchez Briones.
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