An Action Plan and a Bottle of Rain: One SmartPaker’s story of life in the path of a wildfire

Kassidy Burnett recounts the story of being 14 years old and watching helplessly as the Cerro Grande Fire crept toward her family’s home and animals.

From Kassidy:

As I sit at my desk at SmartPak, my mind is consumed with pieces of information during a typical busy day. I’m buzzing with ship dates, supplement questions, and emails. The phone rings and it is a customer from New Mexico, the state where I have spent the majority of my life before my relocation to Massachusetts two years ago with my fiancé. The high elevation desert where I grew up is home to an endless deep blue sky that reaches for miles. This is the state where I was taught to ride by my patient Arabian gelding Kashtan. Like my great grandfather who ranched in the Southwest a hundred years ago, I have seen the prettiest places from the back of a horse.

The news has been reporting extreme drought back home, and my friends and family report a new wildfire almost every day. Wildfire is normal and even healthy in the Southwest, but these are a new breed of wildfires that are ten times more destructive thanks to years of overgrown forests and prolonged drought.

As I gaze back out the window at Plymouth, the stark emerald green of Massachusetts still surprises me. I think of all the rain I have seen in the last month (probably more than New Mexico gets in a wet year) and wish I could send some of it home. Maybe if we could have had some of this rain 12 years ago, the Cerro Grande Fire wouldn’t have happened…

Read the rest of Kassidy’s story on the SmartPak Blog.

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