Smoked out

Done and dusted until further notice.

If you think that little slice of New Mexico looks dry, even parched, maybe, well … that’s because it is.

And so, the word has come down that a forest closure order has been issued effective Thursday for the Mount Taylor, Mountainaire, and Sandia ranger districts of the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. The entire Carson and Santa Fe national forests will follow suit.

Says the U.S. Forest Service:

“Fire danger remains extreme with record conditions only expected to worsen over the foreseeable future. The closure will be rescinded after significant moisture has been received and overall conditions improve.”

It’s a bummer, for sure. But so is getting burned the hell up.

I was just out toodling around in the Elena Gallegos Open Space, with an extra-credit lap around the Menaul trailhead area, and the Steelman Eurocross was cheeping like a nest of baby birds by the time I got home.

That ain’t dirt, it’s dust. And nobody wants a forest they can fit into an ashtray. Or so some of us would like to think, anyway. The quantity of cigarette butts I see along the roads and at trailheads suggests that this is not a unanimous opinion.

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14 Responses to “Smoked out”

  1. JD Says:

    PO’G: Re your last para:

    “Nearly 85 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, equipment use and malfunctions, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson.”
    National Park Service.Gov Mar 8, 2022

    Thank heaven chimps, gorillas, and bonobos don’t smoke, camp, enjoy s’mores, etc. (thus far), eh? 🙂

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      One wonders whether the Lord regrets His choice of species to manage His property.

      “Shoot. Monkeys were a bad idea. Next time, puppies?”

      • Shawn Says:

        I hadn’t realized that humans had been assigned the manager title. I thought we were simply populating the planet as food for the cockroaches and fire ants that will be taking over when things really heat up.

        I believe I hear Linda Ronstadt in the background. She’s singing something about a heat wave.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Boy, the cockaroaches are gonna be snickering when they inherit our e-bikes.

        “Dig it, the silly sods only had two legs to pedal with! No wonder they needed a battery assist!”

  2. Pat O’Brien Says:

    It just a matter of time, and probably not much time, before the Coronado Forest managers do the same closure bit. It has done it before, perhaps in 2011.

    There is a curved line in the picture that runs along the mountains near the tops. I just can’t figure it out. Hair on the lens maybe?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    Thankfully, I don’t think that includes the Tierra trails, but I suspect it might shut down Dale Ball.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Down here it seems that Foothills Trail 365 (two blocks uphill from El Rancho Pendejo) will remain open, which makes no sense to me. A dummy could start a fine fire anywhere along there, especially if all our dummies are crowded onto one trail. Either close the forest or don’t. Cheeziz, etc.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    It looks like we have a couple of red flag days starting today in AZ and NM. Be careful out there.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yup yup yup:

      Strong west to southwest winds will return through Friday. Widespread critical fire weather is also likely with very low humidity and near-record heat. Winds will remain elevated in the high terrain through tonight. Any fires that develop will spread rapidly.

      Good times. Maybe not. Let’s see how many of our friends and neighbors respect the forest closures. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

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