By SYLVIA LOBATO
SAN LUIS VALLEY — Parades in the area over the past weekend honored area firefighters, who displayed their modern, shiny engine in the line-ups.
Engines from La Jara and Costilla County in the Ski Hi Stampede parade exhibited pride in the service they perform.
In San Luis, the Costilla County Fire Protection District was amply honored.
The Blanca-Fort Garland crew was a first responder when the Spring Fire erupted and remained on duty until it was mostly contained.
It is still at only 91 percent containment, with flames in a remote, rocky, hard-to-access area.
Most of the firefighters are volunteers who get paid by the run, and all worked far beyond the call of duty battling the Spring Fire in Costilla County, which consumed 108,045 acres of trees and underbrush, along with more than 130 homes and outbuildings in Costilla and Huerfano counties.
Engines from Blanca-Fort Garland and La Jara in the Ski-Hi Stampede parade Friday and Saturday bore signs signifying the honor accorded all area fire departments, who were named parade grand marshals.
Engines in the Santa Anna y Santiago fiesta parade Sunday followed floats with signs thanking them for helping contain the fast-moving fire that threatened all the mountains at the eastern edge of the Valley.
The Monte Vista parade had nearly 1,000 spectators and more than 70 entries.
At San Luis, the crowd was lighter and there were fewer entries, but an aura of celebration filled the air.