NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A New Mexico man living on the El Porvenir Campgrounds is sharing the aftermath of what’s left after the Calf Canyon-Hermit’s Peak Fire blazed through the grounds. People are returning home to see what’s left of their property, despite the fire still burning in northern New Mexico.
At the El Porvenir Campgrounds in Montezuma, their story is no different. The fire burned twelve of their main buildings. “A home did burn down, we lost six cabins and four summer staff cabins,” said Executive Director Nate Stafford.
Stafford says the fire also burned the bridge that allows cars access to the property. “We don’t have any vehicle access to the property anymore so we have to cross the creek on foot,” said Stafford. This is slowing down the recovery process and not allowing people whose homes did survive to come back home.
Stafford’s house survived but there were also other unlikely survivors. “When we were evacuated and the fire blew through, I knew there was really no way I could really move them,” said Stafford. His four beehives made it through the blaze.
“When we learned that the fire had burned through and we started getting the first pictures back, we knew that building had burned that was kind of protecting the hives,” said Stafford.
Stafford assumed the worst but when he was able to step foot on the grounds, he found four mostly intact hives with bees buzzing around. “They were all doing fine, so they were full of bees, eggs, larvae, queens are laying,” said Stafford.
Plastic on the hives melted through, and a few lids blew off during the strong winds but everything else looked untouched.
“The wax and the comb looked like it was fine throughout so I don’t know if the bees had rebuilt it or if somehow the bees had protected it,” said Stafford.
He’s calling it a miracle. “I’ve been told that the bees cluster in an event like that they’ll cluster to protect themselves,” said Stafford.
Mirroring what the surrounding communities are doing themselves.