Posts Tagged ‘Wildfires’

Fire on the mountain

June 26, 2020

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.

Smoky, no jokey

June 18, 2020

I’d like air that’s just a little less chewy, please. And thank you.

It’s a bad day to be an air-breathing organism.

InciWeb shows four fires in New Mexico, two in southwestern Colorado, and an even dozen in Arizona.

The Bush Fire northeast of Mesa is the biggie at 115,000 acres. That’s pretty country out there. Or it was, anyway.

As a consequence, we in the Duke City have been awarded an “Air Quality Alert” by the National Weather Service, and I will testify that the air is of very poor quality indeed. I’d send it back, but UPS says they won’t pick it up.

And there’s no telling when we might get a suitable replacement anyway, with the Bush Fire only 5 percent contained.


October 9, 2019

“Who turned out the lights? Strike a match, Betty Lou, I can’t see shit.”

Remember the good ol’ days, when you could make magic just by flipping a switch? Communication, refrigeration, information, even transportation, all delivered with a wave of one hand. One finger, actually. No, not that one.

And without burning down half the county, too.

As is often the case, our brethren and sisthren in California are getting a sneak peek at the future this week as PG&E returns them to the Dark Ages, that they may not be barbecued by their desires for communication, refrigeration, information, even transportation.

I wonder how much safer everyone will be with a few million generators busily chugging along next to the woodpiles.

“Crank up the Honda, hon’, ‘Dancing With the Stars’ is coming on!”

• Extra Bonus Snark: Good timing, awarding the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three scientists behind the lithium-ion battery. We’re gonna need a bigger one, dudes.

Fire on the mountain

May 26, 2018

The view from below the tram.

When I sallied forth for the day’s ride I saw smoke and assumed that some asshat had been careless in my vicinity.


A local TV station says that the haze bellied up to the base of the Sandias is from the Buzzard Fire, a 12,400-acre blaze in the Gila National Forest.

This doesn’t mean that asshats have not been careless in my vicinity. After observing the smoke I started noticing the cigarette butts scattered along the shoulder of Tramway Boulevard. I thought I’d count them but it proved impossible. It seemed more important in the short term to focus on the asshats trying to kill me with their cars.

Mayor Chris meets The Outspoken Cyclist

January 21, 2018

Hizzoner having a spot of fun between mayoral chores.

Diane Jenks recently spoke with my old college roomie Chris Coursey for “The Outspoken Cyclist,” her radio show-slash-podcast.

They discussed cycling, journalism and Santa Rosa, Calif., which continues to feel the aftereffects of last fall’s horrific fires in Napa and Sonoma counties.

Don’t let the cycling kit fool you — you’ll recall from earlier posts that Chris is the mayor of Santa Rosa, and I expect he’s logging most of his miles in that capacity these days.

“We are still very much in the middle of this disaster, and hopefully on the road to recovery,” says Hizzoner.

You can give the interview a listen here:

T H E   O U T S P O K E N   C Y C L I S T:

The Bravo Foxtrot Hotel

October 12, 2017

Every day a little less green and a little more gold.

Thursday has its roots in the Old Norse for “Thor’s Day” (thōrsdagr), and it was definitely hammer time round El Rancho Pendejo today.

I burned a bunch of daylight polishing the penultimate “Mad Dog Unleashed” screed of 2017 for Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, then scribbled a “Shop Talk” cartoon for the same outfit. No work, no eating, as the Zen master Hyakujo has taught us.

This shot makes the Elena Gallegos Open Space look a lot less active than it was.

Then it was 90 minutes on the Voodoo Nakisi, chasing myself around the dusty trails of the Elena Gallegos Open Space. Next to nobody in there yesterday and today it looked like the Big Eye at rush hour. Go figure. Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

The Boo requires a variety of medications and we were short one, so off to the vet I did go, flushing still more dinero down the medical loo that is our smelly little one-eyed pee-weasel.

And I checked in with friends in Santa Rosa to gauge the state of affairs out there. Not good, as you probably already know. Nearly 3,000 homes destroyed, 29 people dead, and both numbers expected to rise.

Among the houses incinerated was one belonging to the late Charles M. Schulz, creator of the fabled “Peanuts” strip.

My man Merrill is planning another cross-country run before settling into his new life on the Left Coast and hopes to pass through the Duke City this time around, so I’ll get a full report sometime next week from a former New York Times man. Right now he’s couch-surfing at the mayor’s digs and resting up for the final push.

And my old buddy Miz Lo is hiding from the smoke down Petaluma way but hopes to return to the Pink Palace soon. She knows many people who won’t be so fortunate.

It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity, part 2

June 23, 2012
The Waldo Canyon fire

The Waldo Canyon fire, as seen from a couple blocks west of Chez Dog.

Sonofabitch. Now we’ve got a live one encroaching upon greater cosmopolitan Bibleburg.

Dubbed the Pyramid Mountain fire, it started somewhere near Waldo Canyon and is already estimated at some 600 acres. An assortment of mandatory and voluntary beat-it orders are in place for west- and north-siders, but at the moment it seems the prevailing winds are pushing the thing north and west, so Your Humble Narrator is not in danger — at the moment, anyway — of becoming a hot dog, har har.

The fire has been declared a federal emergency, and renowned feddle-gummint rassler Dougie Lamborn (R-Hypocrisy) reportedly “stands ready to assist if federal resources are required.” In light of the serious nature of the event I’ll refrain from delivering the obvious ironic rimshot.

More as we hear it.

• Late update: The fire is now officially named for Waldo Canyon (no “Where’s Waldo? jokes, please), and late word is that it’s torched a couple thousand acres and displaced about as many people. Nobody hurt so far, according to the local rumormongers, which is good. You can replace burned-up people, just like you can replace burned-up stuff, but the process takes longer and the outcome is uncertain.

The winds seem to have died down, but it’s always creepy to look at the sky at 9:30 p.m. and see peach-colored clouds and a moon that looks like an orange slice from some kid’s Halloween candy haul.

It’s not the heat, it’s the stupidity

June 23, 2012

Jeebus. Four days of record-breaking heat in Bibleburg and more on the way. Lord, I know it was supposed to be the fire next time — I just wasn’t expecting it so soon.

Speakings of fires, have I mentioned that we’ve got ’em out the wazoo? Up near Lake George, around Fort Collins, at Pagosa Springs and around Mesa Verde, for starters.

The Springer fire near Lake George is thought to have been human-caused, if you can describe as “human” one or more of the lesser primates banging away at a propane tank with the old smokepole. Yes, that’s the rumor behind the news, as The Firesign Theatre would put it. And the crazier the rumor, the greater the likelihood that it’s true. We also have a serial arsonist lighting up the roadside grasses in Teller County. Good times.

The menagerie and I are left alone to endure this smoky pestilence, Herself having pissed off to Mouse Country for some class of library confab at which they all dress severely, put their hair up in buns and practice the hissing of “Shh!” at each other. Just as well, I suppose, as the metaphorical flames of multiple deadlines are licking around my feet and I can’t seem to stomp them out fast enough, which makes me unpleasant company.

And at least we still have a pot to piss in and a window to throw it out of, unlike a whole bunch of folks up in Larimer County, whose homes are now portable, fitting neatly into their cars’ ashtrays. Makes a shit monsoon feel like a gentle summer rain.

Fire on the mountain

June 27, 2010

Man, the smoke around here last night was wicked — we had to close all the windows to keep the house from smelling like a Cub Scout campfire.

Now a slurry bomber has crashed, grounding the fleet, and the fire folks are using helicopters instead. Lovely.

And the website has developed some sort of hiccup just in time for me to clock in. Is this Monday or Sunday?