Remembering the Giant Mulch Fire of Helotes, Texas

I grew up in a little town outside of San Antonio, on the edge of the Texan hill country, called Helotes. Since Christmas Day of 2006, a huge, four-stories-tall, several-football-fields-long pile of dried mulch caught fire and has been burning ever since. It was the talk of the town, needless to say (’00 population: ~4,285), as businesses closed down, schools canceled, and people evacuated. Still today, almost three months after the fire started, my parents (who live about a mile a way) can determine which way the wind is blowing by the amount of smoke that filters through the exhaust vents in their bathroom.

I’m not sure who took the photo above, or whose truck it came from, but I think it really captures the particular time and place of Helotes. There’s something unique about commemorating a local, current event in the form of a truck accessory — like a modern-day “Remember the Alamo!”