On the morning of Thursday, April 12, 2007, Wye Hale-Rowe watched out the window of the plane as U.S. Airways Flight 180 descended into Phoenix. She surveyed the landscape that unfolded on the ground below — blue swimming pools, elevated freeway interchanges, and a flat grid of streets studded with slender desert palm trees. When Hale-Rowe left her apartment in Aurora, Colo., that morning and drove 20 miles by taxi to the Denver airport, the air had been frigid. In Phoenix, however, the temperature was expected to climb to 75 degrees. But Hale-Rowe wasn’t a snowbird, the local term for retirees who flock to Arizona in the winter and stay through spring to enjoy the weather. Her trip to the Valley of the Sun would be short. She was there to help Jana Van Voorhis commit suicide.
From The Big Roundtable:
At 12:30 in the afternoon on Monday, June 25, 1990, lightning flashed above the Tonto National Forest near Payson, Arizona, about 100 miles northeast of Phoenix. It started a fire just south of the Mogollon Rim. Within an hour, the fire had spread over five acres. By 4:15 p.m., more than 100 acres of manzanita brush, scrub oak, and old-growth ponderosa pine had been consumed in what was by then called the Dude Fire, named for Dude Creek, where the lightning had touched down and ignited the blaze. Propelled by brisk winds, the flames moved fast. Initial attack crews were called in. Helicopters dangled collapsible canvas buckets from sturdy cords and dipped them into nearby lakes and ponds to gather thousands of gallons of water and dump it on the fire. Air tankers dropped bright red slurry, a fire retardant. Neither had much effect. At 6 p.m., the U.S. Forest Service called in 18 wildland fire crews, each made up of 20 team members, from across the state and beyond, to help suppress the Dude Fire. One was a crew of inmate firefighters from the Arizona State Prison at Perryville.