Smoky sunrise

Usually, this sunrise would be sharp and clear … not blurred. The distortion is the result of forest fires ravaging portions of New Mexico. Look to the left of the sun and you can see the layer of smoke that settled on the mountains – and our whole landscape – overnight.

The wind, today, is supposed to come from the SSW which will blow the smoke away from La Cieneguilla, west and south of the city of Santa Fe. Outdoor life in our portion of the county should return to something more like normal. Whatever that means?

8 thoughts on “Smoky sunrise

  1. Déjà vu says:

    ● Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office update community on status of fire currently burning in Jemez Mountains (May 3, 2022): The Cerro Pelado wildfire is about 5.5 miles away from Laboratory property and has burned approximately 25,000 acres. Over 560 personnel are working the fire.
    As part of an effort to reduce the number of employees who might have to evacuate the site if the fire were to threaten Lab property or the townsite, Lab leaders will determine whether Maximum Telework is necessary if the main body of the fire moves northeast and reaches Dome Road (Forest Service Road 289 – map link), taking into consideration the fire management incident team’s assessment of the fire (e.g., wind speed, fire behavior).
    Decisions about evacuating remaining employees and the townsite will be made in conjunction with Los Alamos County if the fire continues to move closer to the Laboratory and reaches Alamo Canyon (see map – link).
    ● Los Alamos was evacuated in 2000 after the Cerro Grande fire jumped the fireline at Camp May Road into Los Alamos Canyon.
    The fire burned some 30% of the 43 square miles of Laboratory property. At the plutonium site, which was sandwiched between fires on the north and south, the wind in the center of the firestorm was measured to be in excess of 85 mph. Aluminum wheels on automobiles and aluminum accelerator parts stored outside were turned into aluminum puddles. The fire reportedly burned over the top of the Lab emergency fire center twice, as the winds switched directions. Nothing in the main TA-3 area, nor anything at TA-53 (LAMPF, now LANSCE) was burned.
    The US General Accounting Office estimated total damages at $1 billion.
    ● Cerro Pelado fire a grim reprise, tearing through the Las Conchas burn scar
    ● The Las Conchas Fire was a wildfire in New Mexico in 2011. The fire started in Santa Fe National Forest and burned more than 150,000 acres, threatening Los Alamos National Laboratory and the town of Los Alamos. After five days of burning, it became the largest wildfire in New Mexico state history at the time, although it was surpassed the following year by the much larger Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire.

  2. McLuhan says:

    ‘Burning Down a Way of Life’: Wildfire Rips Through a Hispanic Bastion
    One of the largest wildfires in New Mexico’s history is raging through a region where the culture stretches back longer than the United States has existed. (New York Times May 5, 2022)
    Why Climate Change Makes It Harder to Fight Fire With Fire
    Worsening wildfires in recent years have led officials to embrace planned fires to thin forests before disaster strikes. But the warming world is making it tougher to do safely. (NYT 5/5/22)

    • Pulaski says:

      The Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak wildfire burning outside Las Vegas, New Mexico, continues to grow and now covers an area almost the size of New York City.
      Officials now say the fire has burned 160,104 acres and is still only 20 percent contained.

  3. Update says:

    Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos County and the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Field Office update community on status of fire currently burning in Jemez Mountains May 4, 2022
    “…“The good news is that this fire [Cerro Pelado] is behaving more like a controlled burn,” said Rich Nieto, the Laboratory’s Wildland Fire manager. “It’s not burning in the tree canopy like the Calf and Hermit’s Peak fires. It’s burning the brush and fallen trees on the ground. There’s a lot of smoke, but the smoke can be misleading and make things appear worse than they are. We’re still taking this fire very seriously because conditions can always change, but currently, we feel confident that our mitigation measures will protect Laboratory property and the County.”

  4. Stover says:

    A first-of-its-kind study from researchers at McGill University has investigated the relationship between certain cancers and people living in close proximity to wildfires. The findings revealed higher rates of brain tumors and lung cancer in populations living within 50 km (31 miles) of a wildfire that occurred over the past 10 years.
    The acute health effects from being exposed to a wildfire are well known. Higher rates of asthma and cardiovascular disease are often reported when air quality plummets during a wildfire. A number of adverse pregnancy outcomes are often also seen in the wake of a big wildfire.
    But little is known about the long-term health effects of being exposed to these events. This new study set out to fill that gap in the knowledge by looking at health data from around two million people in Canada spanning a period of 20 years.

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