National Park Service
Santa Fe County commissioners urged U.S. forest managers to do a more comprehensive environmental review of plans to restore large swaths of forest that border the capital city, passing a resolution fueled by frustrations that have been mounting in the wake of a devastating wildfire sparked by the government’s planned burns.
The Santa Fe County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the resolution, but not before some of the elected officials and members of the public blasted the U.S. Forest Service for not taking into consideration the exceptionally dry conditions that have plagued many parts of the West for the last two decades…
Santa Fe resident Valerie Gremillion told the county commissioners that she has been reviewing the report that outlines mistakes made by the agency…“I would not let them run a carnival in my backyard, much less set a fire to the back of the Santa Fe National Forest,” she said.
RTFA. “Incompetence” is more accurate than any other excuse. The Forest Service has been in the fire-fighting and fire-starting business for a long time. Sufficient practice to get it right.
8 thoughts on “U.S.Forest Service + outdated models = the largest wildfire in New Mexico History”
“Fire sale : As the wildfire raged, New Mexicans got alarming cash offers for their property in the burn zone. Was it ‘disaster investing’?” https://searchlightnm.org/fire-sale/
AKA: post-disaster exploitation
A grass fire burned into a suburb of Dallas, Texas Monday afternoon destroying 9 homes and damaging another 17, according to city officials. https://wildfiretoday.com/2022/07/25/grass-fire-burns-into-dallas-suburb-destroys-9-homes/ [includes video footage]
A Colorado official says nearly 1,000 homes and other structures were destroyed, hundreds more were damaged, and three people are missing after a wildfire charred numerous neighborhoods in a suburban area at the base of the Rocky Mountains.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle also said Saturday that investigators are still trying to find the cause of the wind-whipped blaze that erupted Thursday and blackened entire neighborhoods in the area located between Denver and Boulder. (January 1, 2022) https://apnews.com/article/wildfires-business-environment-and-nature-denver-suburbs-12017abc8b29dbd42c3169c615580d6e
1991 Oakland Hills CA firestorm [raw video] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NseOhUqZAh0
Las Vegas, NM declares emergency, with less than 50 days of clean water supply left after the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire contaminated the Gallinas River. The city relies solely on water from the river, which has been tainted with large amounts of fire-related debris and ash, according to city officials. https://6abc.com/las-vegas-nm-declares-emergency-with-less-than-50-days-of-clean-w/12082599/
The body of a man reported missing after flash floods hit the wildfire burn scar in northern New Mexico last week has been recovered, authorities said Tuesday.
San Miguel County Sheriff’s officials said the body was located in the Tecolote Creek channel.
They said three people were swept away from a destroyed home in the Tecolote Canyon subdivision last Thursday.
The bodies of two women were recovered soon afterward west of Las Vegas, New Mexico. https://apnews.com/article/floods-wildfires-fires-new-mexico-las-vegas-9768ac20625dfdcf91b296825c4c5f0c
Las Vegas New Mexico now has about 20 days of fresh water left, and officials there are scrambling to try to find another source https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/03/us/las-vegas-new-mexico-water-crisis-climate/index.html
One of the city’s two reservoirs is filled with contaminated water that the current filtration system cannot handle. It’s also a health risk — when charred organic compounds react with high levels of chlorine used to purify water and make it drinkable, it can become carcinogenic.
“After the U.S. government started the largest wildfire in New Mexico’s recorded history in April, it is asking [requiring] victims to share recovery costs on [their] private land, jeopardizing relief efforts, according to residents and state officials.” https://www.reuters.com/world/us/after-starting-new-mexico-fire-us-asks-victims-pay-2022-07-31/
(Santa Fe New Mexican): The withdrawal of a U.S. Forest Service plan designed to decrease the risk of wildfire in the mountains around Santa Fe is the right step — but a pause is not enough, given the lessons of this summer.
The Santa Fe Mountains Landscape Resiliency Project is on hold for now. The plan is focused on thinning forests around Santa Fe to reduce threat of fire and boost biodiversity.
Without thinning, the risk of a devastating fire that damages Santa Fe’s water source is undeniable. We have supported targeted prescribed burns in the past as one way of reducing fuel load. That’s still true.
However, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire has shown — again — that human beings are fallible. https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/editorials/pause-on-forest-plan-doesnt-go-far-enough/article_7ca24bcc-14f2-11ed-935a-cf85ec3b033a.html
“NBC News conducted an investigation into some of the claims and statistics about vegetation management projects that are designed to improve forest health and/or and reduce the threat of wildfires. The emphasis of the very lengthy article about their findings was not so much to question the need or effectiveness of the hazardous fuel reduction projects, but to examine their claims of accomplishments, which are sometimes misleading.
Many fuel management projects on National Forests include multiple treatments of a single area. There can be some combination of thinning, pruning, piling, chipping, or prescribed burning, all considered independently and occurring at different times. In an extreme scenario, if the project was 100 acres and five different treatments occurred, each might be reported as accomplishing 100 acres of fuel treatment. They then tell Congress they treated 500 acres.” https://wildfiretoday.com/2022/08/11/report-us-forest-service-is-sometimes-overstating-fuel-management-accomplishments/
Feds begin air-dropping seeds and mulch over the burn scar in northern NM
Natural Resource Conservation Service foots the whole bill for watershed protection program https://sourcenm.com/2022/09/22/feds-begin-air-dropping-seeds-and-mulch-over-the-burn-scar-in-northern-nm/
The program includes cleanup of damaged regions, as well as building flood-prevention structures.
The state is sponsoring the project and would normally have to pay for construction, but the NRCS is picking up the full bill this time. The program is funded as part of $133 million secured from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, money that’s committed for recovery from the wildfire and flooding in New Mexico.