The wildfire season has started here in New Mexico. That’s not surprising given that most of the state is suffering from extreme or exceptional (even drier) drought. See the drought monitor here.

Here’s a picture Andy took Friday (from the east door of the cottage) of smoke from the fire 25 miles from Santa Fe:
And here are two pictures of smoke from a fire in our Jemez Mountains, taken from our apartment Friday afternoon and yesterday evening:
It’s always sad to think of more trees going up in smoke, but it would be a lot worse if we had the windy conditions we had a few weeks ago. And it’s a lot better than the tornadoes tammy and her neighbors in Oklahoma have been experiencing. Read about tammy’s experience here. I’m so glad you’re all right, tammy!

Hopefully everyone else’s week was less eventful!

Thanks to tammy, Dixie, bikehikebabe, Ursula and Rummuser for commenting on last week’s post.
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13 Responses to Fire!

  1. Mike says:

    Jean, I thought about you this morning when I saw the news about the Santa Fe fire. Here in Arkansas, our drought of last year is long gone. We’re wet; everything is lush, green, and overgrown. A farm couple we know has already gotten nearly 500 round bales of hay, only 9 or 10 less than they got in all of last year. We’ve been lucky with the storms. The systems have been going through in the mornings before the heat of the day raises the energy in the atmosphere. We’ve only headed to the storm shelter once this year.
    Mike´s last blog post ..Stacked Rocks.

  2. bikehikebabe says:

    The whole Los Alamos town has been evacuated twice in last 11 yrs. Got with-in a couple stones-throw of our house the 1st time. Jean’s mountain house & land got burnt to ground this last time. Drought & fire seems to be the way of live here. My mountain friend’s mother wanted to visit when “there isn’t a snow storm or fire”. And when would that be??? 😀

  3. Cathy in NZ says:

    Terrifying, brilliance, resistance and many other words that describe the vagaries of weather patterns, which seem to intensify the more telecommunications expand. Some things occur regularly and have been doing that for decades whilst other things just pop up…when they are least expected.

    At the moment the news is on a big landslide that is or has taken homes including a ‘care facility for elders’. In Wellington, a suburb where residents are saying one thing, and the council is saying something else…

    life is precious and we don’t really know it is until something happens. It might not be weather related it might be something far more personal like unexpected health issue, having to move, being fired or being made redundant from a wonderful job.

    but somehow we soldier on – like Tammy with the recent tornado…
    Cathy in NZ´s last blog post ..Paper, Paint and “What-if?”

  4. Evan says:

    Winter here so the fire season is a while away.

    With eucalypts it is a big worry.

    We white people still aren’t willing to accommodate to our landscape in Australia – and we are paying the price.
    Evan´s last blog post ..Dealing With Distress #1 – sleep

  5. Jean says:

    That’s great news that your drought is over, and that your storm systems aren’t too threatening. As I mentioned, so far we’re lucky that the winds haven’t been too bad. We’re keeping our fingers crossed.

    We still laugh that when the circus came to town in the old days — around the first weekend in June — we always wore our arctic parkas because we invariably had snow flurries.

    Your comment about landslides reminds me of California. Whenever it rained there would be stories of houses sliding down hills. It also reminded me of Sir Cadogan in Harry Potter: “Be of stout heart, the worst is yet to come!” I would add, “Appreciate what you have while you still have it.” Says the Cheerful Pessimist. 🙂

  6. Jean says:

    A lot of our fire problems aren’t just because of the drought, they’re because so many people live close to the forests. Both the fire by Santa Fe and the one in the Jemez were caused by trees falling on power lines. And that’s what caused the big fire that wiped us out two years ago.

  7. Evan says:

    Same problem in Oz.

    If we had a 1km ring of grassland (say for grazing) around settlements instead of eucalypts the fire problem would be much, much less.
    Evan´s last blog post ..Dealing With Distress #1 – sleep

  8. tammyj says:

    my mouse is dead. i couldn’t respond to all the wonderfully kind comments on my post tornado post! i could read them just couldn’t get the reply to work with just the touch screen.
    so will thank you here.
    and as to the wild fires . . . my goodness. i would take a tornado over that any day!!! fire like that is terrifying to me.
    and i always think of all the poor little animals. and like you say… our beloved trees.
    stay safe dearest monk. and bhb.
    what a planet we live on. so beautiful… but always something!
    tammyj´s last blog post ..wren house report

  9. Jean says:

    I was worried when you didn’t write more on your blog. I’m glad it was just your mouse.

    About the animals — this fire is moving slowly enough that the larger animals should be able to get out of the way. The one that wiped us out was a different matter. This one has burned about 3200 acres in three days. Ours burned 43,000 acres the first day. That’s not something you can outrun.

    Besides the drought the fires are so bad because the forests are overgrown. Fire was a natural part of the ecosystem but we humans suppressed fires for decades and now the fuel load is extremely high in a lot of places. That means instead of frequent low-intensity fires that clear out the underbrush, we get hotter ones that wreck the soil in addition to trees. And trees like Ponderosa pines used to do well when the fires stayed on the ground and didn’t burn as hot. Now the get wiped out too.

    The wind picked up a bit this afternoon so the fire did get worse. We’ll just have to see.

    I hope your tornadoes are over for the year!

  10. Rummuser says:

    We have had pre-monsoon showers and things have cooled down. The met forecasts early setting in and normalcy of the monsoon which should ease the situation in our state which has had a drought the last year.
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Doppelgangers.

  11. Jean says:

    We envy you!

  12. Max Coutinho says:

    Hey Jean,

    Just came to check up on you. I heard about the fires and ever since, I have been thinking of you…so, here I am. I see that you are well :).

    Max Coutinho´s last blog post ..The Rare Interview of Angola’s President: Frivolity or Fraudulence?

  13. Jean says:

    Thank you!

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