Fire on the mountain

As we left a line of firefighters began working their way up that hill from the left. Must’ve been fun doing it in the dark last night. Maybe not.

Somebody, man, god, or devil, got careless with combustibles here in the ’hood last night.

Details are elusive, but somehow a hillside about a mile from us got lit up at stupid-thirty last night, while we were abed.

The smoke-eaters must’ve gotten right on top of the thing because the evacuees were all back in their homes in a matter of hours. And this morning things seemed to be in the mopping-up stage.

Not what you like to see as the weather heats up ahead of a Fourth of July weekend. In fact, not what you like to see, period.


17 Responses to “Fire on the mountain”

  1. khal spencer Says:


    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      For reals. Those firefighters in the helicopter video are getting their steps in the hard way. About 80 percent of the country around here stands on end. Makes our hillside hideaway outside Weirdcliffe look like the Bonneville Salt Flats.

      • JD Says:

        Glad they sorted it out safely and quickly. Every time I skedaddle up some of the slopes in the great American SW I try to imagine wild-land firefighters doing it….and often at 10K feet elevation or more…..with equipment…..under ever-evolving, dangerous conditions.

        Definitely a younger person’s game!

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Watch those firefighters humping that hill in the KRQE video I linked to. You won’t see me moving that fast in T-shirt, shorts, and running shoes. Not even if I’m wearing a pork-chop necklace and a skinny mountain lion is chasing me.

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Twenty years ago we thought living up in a canyon would be really neat. When the Monument Fire happened here in 2011, we scrapped that idea for good. Patrick’s house is as close as I would want to be to the NF.

    • khal spencer Says:

      When we started seeing embers floating down in the yard in 2011, it was downright scary. As we were evacuating, I took pictures of every room in the house in case it burned down and we had to make a claim. Recall that the 2000 Cerro Grande fire torched 400 homes in Bombtown. The fire chief had to run out the door at one public meeting because one of his crews almost got trapped as the fire tried to jump a ridge and burn its way down Los Alamos Canyon. They managed to stop it.

      We got back there after a week staying at a friend’s place in Fanta Se and everything stank of fire and there were hotspots still burning. The fire moved north and lasted into, I think, August, burning its way through the Jemez Mountains. Meena wanted to get the hell out of Los Alamos after that.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Don’t like those fires. We saw the Iron Mountain fire from our Weirdcliffe chateau. The wind was blowing so hard that the smoke plume looked like Satan was driving his ATV along a dirt road at warp factor 5. And we housed some refugees from the Waldo Canyon fire in the House Back East®. That one I thought might get around to us, because Bibleburg is full of tasty fuel, but we dodged that bullet.

  3. katholoch Says:

    That’s scary. And yes, 4th of July in NM always means some one is going to want to light off firecrackers. All the more fun if it is illegal in ABQ.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      O, indeed. The knuckleheads will be shooting bottle rockets and each other in the name of FreeDumb®, which is the most expensive kind.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Fireworks. God’s revenge on humanity for being stupid.

      Back in Honolulu, the locals light up the skies on New Year’s Eve as though there was no tomorrow. One year in the early ’90s we were in a serious drought. People down the street were shooting off exploding rockets (bigger ones than bottle rockets) and a few were landing in the tinder dry watershed right behind our row of homes, which bordered the watershed. So I went out and asked them to aim towards the street and they looked at me like “f*uk you, haole, don’t give us no advice”.

      A while later, my better half, yours truly, and the couple next door were getting totally shitfaced on a magnum of champagne after having quaffed down wine with dinner. Looking at a mirror with the picture window behind me, I saw what looked like a flicker outside and sure enough, the Einsteins down the street had landed a rocket on a neighbor’s roof. All the homes had cedar shake roofs. You can guess the effect.

      So while Meena fruitlessly tried to get hold of the fire department (which was seriously oversubscribed due to the combination of drought and fireworks), an extremely drunk Khal and our equally pissed (UK useage) neighbor Nancy, an environmental scientist who had built dams for the Peace Corps, ran down the street, in no condition to do the following, with an extension ladder and climbed up on the burning roof while one of the kids next door (part of the rocket launching brigade) handed up a garden hose and climbed up too. We managed to put the fire out while it was pretty small but there was serious roof damage. The guy had to be woken up to be told his roof was on fire. We checked his attic, which had smoke in it but no flames.

      You know what Larry’s wife says…

  4. Herb from Michigan Says:

    If you want a chilling view of firefighting and the origin of lighting backfires check out Richard Shindell’s Cold Missouri Waters. If that doesn’t touch a nerve you are dead but just don’t know it.

  5. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Song has my Uncle George ( original 10th Mountain Division) all over it. Blunt, death, remorse and guilt.

  6. SAO' Says:

    Drive north on I-25, first thing you see when you hit the WY line is a Black Cat warehouse. And the parking lot will be full of cars with CO plates and MAGA stickers.

  7. Fire, works | Mad Blog Media Says:

    […] Herself and I hiked up to the site of last month’s smallish foothills fire and pressed on a bit further for a peek at some of the as-yet-unburnt open space […]

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