The air in New Mexico this past week was cloudy and smokey. There was a large forest fire burning in Arizona. We have experienced that before with the fire in one state, even as far west as California, causing poor air quality hundreds, if not thousands of miles away.
And there were fires burning in New Mexico. Last weeks post mentioned a couple of the fires burning in the state. We have fires to the east of us. Fires to the South of us. And now, a fire close to us. About 20 miles away. This one started on Earth Day…April 22, 2022. They named it Cerro Pelado. Daughter pointed it out to me when she texted this photo from the stables, where she was feeding Ruby and Roman.
In 24 hours, it has grown from 50+ acres to over 4600 acres. We haven’t had rain in the area for months. We have been in a drought for years now. And the snow pack is far less than desired, as the hot weather over the past few weeks has melted most of what had collected at the higher elevations. To make things worse, it has been very windy, with daily winds above 20, sometimes gusting to 30, 40, 50 miles per hour for the past few weeks.
At this moment, there are almost a dozen fires burning across New Mexico. For all, the cause of the fire is under investigation. The prognosis is that it will be a hot, and dry, and dangerous summer.
Both kids were much younger when we had to evacuate Los Alamos due to the Las Conchas Fire in 2011. What I remember from that fire was tying my daughter’s riding horse “Spirit” onto the roof of the car because we had to save all of the animals. That fire burned over 150,000 acres. The family had evacuated for about a week to Albuquerque.
It was 11 years earlier that the Cerro Grande fire burned over 120,000 acres and caused about $1 billion dollars in damage. Some interesting discussion about the two fires and Los Alamos at https://forestpolicypub.com/2012/10/06/cerro-grande-post-fire-photos/. In addition, I posted a discussion about Cerro Grande previously at https://themckeespot.com/2020/05/13/anniversaries-of-sorts/.
With the onset of this latest forest fire, one begins to look around the house and think about what stays and what goes if the order to evacuate is received. Lots of stuff. Lots of junk. Lots of memories. Lots of pictures taken in case the house is burned down and you file a claim with your homeowners insurance.
One hopes that sufficient notice is provided should a mandatory evacuation order be given.
Of course, its an added complication when one has to evacuate the animals. No longer can I tie the horse to the roof of the car. Now room for these two…
So arrangements have been made that if the evacuation order is given, we will load the horses up and take them to stables south of Santa Fe. That means hitching up the trailer, loading the horses, grabbing some bales of hay and riding stuff. In addition, the dogs, and prized possessions of the kids, valuables and other stuff. So long as there is room.
Sadly, I do not know what I would do about the fish. Fill a smaller aquarium and throw it in the back of the car?
Welcome to the start of summer 2022. It has only been spring for about a month. Should be another interesting time.