Wallow Fire splits up a family during evacuations

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX - As the flames devoured the trees and earth around them, the Turley’s could do nothing but watch and hope the billowing smoke would keep its distance.

“It was just unbelievable is what it is. You sit there watching this thing thinking no stop!" Edie Turley described the approaching fire.

Sadly those flames didn’t stop creeping closer.

The Apache County Sheriff's Office ordered all residents Wednesday in Springerville and Eagar to evacuate immediately. When evacuation orders went out, the Turley’s left to stay with loved ones in Queen Creek. However Karl Turley stayed behind.

"It is dark and there is a lot of smoke, but I am ok," Turley said. “I feel safe here. I have thought about this seriously. I have a wood pile back here that I have watered down for three or four hours for the last three or four days."

Despite the stress of knowing Karl is back among the smoke and burning embers, the family has kept their sense of humor.

"If my dad is alive considering the way he drives, God will save him through anything!” joked Carolyn Turley, Karl’s daughter.

But they know there is a real threat.

“It is scary. I can’t imagine my life without my dad. He is really close to my son and hopefully he will stay that way," Edie said. "He has got something to protect. And, it’s his home. He was raised a block and a half away from where he is right now. Why would he want to leave? It’s just his birth place and his birth right and that’s what he is fighting for."