Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Heroes Describe Memories of Cerro Grande Ordeal.(New Mexico)

Byline: Diana Heil Journal Northern Bureau

SANTA FE The stories Cerro Grande Fire heroes swap might be surprising.

Wearing a gold medal and green ribbon around her neck in the plaza of Rancho Alegre on Monday night, American Red Cross volunteer Shelley Bahr of Taos stumbled on a realization while the mariachi band played: A hero's greeting is not always enviable.

"Disasters bring out the best and worst of people," she said.

Some Los Alamos residents shun her with a disdainful glance. "Why didn't you save these houses?" they want to know.

Others tell Bahr they want to cry with gratefulness when they see her.

The May 4 wildfire forced the evacuation of about 25,000 Los Alamos County citizens. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.