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Flooding concerns become real at fire-scarred apple orchard

KOB.com New Mexico
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July 30, 2011 AT 5:45 AM
the hard work continues this weekend at new mexico's most famous apple orchard. they're recovering from the largest wildfire in state history and protecting it from the next threat - flooding. stuart dyson spent much of the day at dixon's apple orchard and he's in our newsroom now. 20-11 has been a year of epic trouble for becky and jim mullane and their orchard nestled in a canyon next to cochiti lake - ice -fire - and now floodwater. here's a hint of what may lie ahead - a surge of tar-black ash-filled floodwater from a little rain higher up in the freshly charbroiled canyon that is home to dixon's apples. " this stream has risen about 3 feet in a matter of seconds - if it comes to flooding the stone wall all along the stream is going to help a lot - it's been there half a century - built by becky's grandfather fred dixon." becky and jim lost their house and some barns in the las conchas fire - it spared much of the orchard - but set it up perfectly for flash-floods and mudslides - a lot of protective work has been done - but there is much left to do to shore up the suddenly fragile canyon walls. " our lives have changed - there is no dot about that and that would be a lie for me to stand here and say oh it's all gonna be the same - it's all gonna be just what it was - it isn't - our lives have changed here in this canyon." " it varies from day to day - ha ha - hour to hour - you know there's times when things feel like they're going good and other times it just feels like you're just behind the 8-ball all the time." the orchard sits on state trust land - jim and becky pay the taxpayers for it - and rely on the state now to help out with the massive environmental crisis they're facing. " we have had unbelievable support from apple customers - it is over - way over the top - i can't even begin to tell you - and that's what keeps us here." " we want to see the light at the end of the tunnel - and at this point there's just no light right now for us." well maybe some light - big fundraiser on the way august 27th in eldorado - steve stucker one of the emcees