There are fewer fires now than when I posted about it before; it is down to two: the Trigo in the Manzanos(only 30% contained and concerning everyone); and the Pepper (75% contained, 650 acres destroyed) at Weed, near Cloudcroft and Alamogordo. The Trigo has now burned over 1300 acres and is still going strong. Residents in the area are cutting trees to try to form a break, as the forestry firefighters and others helping them are stretched to the limit. We are expecting high winds today and tomorrow, and it is felt that if the fire is not more contained overnight, tomorrow it may well be out of control. That is the one that is "over the hill" from Albuquerque. It is still a distance away from the city, but I'm sure it is adding to nasty air for the city, which already has a smog problem, anyway.
Today we are expecting extremely high winds over all the state, and the humidity is unbelievably low. I didn't hear or they didn't say the humidity on the TV a few minutes ago, but yesterday or Friday it was 10% over most of the state, and this morning they said today it is the lowest yet. According to the Internet, it is 11% here right now, and the sun isn't strong yet 7:20 A, so some of that will burn off within the next hour. It is so dry that residents are being told not to try to "water things down;" the water will evaporate within about 15 - 20 minutes, wasting a valuable resource. Flame retardants are the only thing that will work on this kind of fire.
About 3/4 of the State is in Red Flag Alert status. I'm in the area that has only (???) a Fire Weather Watch, the Southwest corner of the State, but they expect to upgrade us before the day is over. OK, as I'm writing this, it was updated to Red Flag for the whole State and they now say wind gusts will be up to 65 miles per hour.
The existing fires are far enough from me that you needn't worry. Under the conditions, however, it will take almost nothing to start a fire anywhere in the State, so everyone must be careful. I'm taking my little space heater from the well house to the grandmother of a coworker, since she can't use her wood burning stove to heat her house. I know how hard it is on older people, especially in the mornings.
**** BTW, did you know that there are other things that can start these fires, things other than what I have discussed, the cigarettes or fires (campfires, BBQ grills, wood burning stove or fireplaces, etc., anything that puts out sparks)??? Simply parking your car in a field, a grassy area, can start a fire!! Think about it ... the heat from the engine can ignite the dry grass. And if there is any unburned gasoline that drips from the tailpipe, it may take only the heat of the sun to start a fire after you drive off. ****
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Now that I've depressed/scared you, check out the funnies below to bring your day a chuckle. :) But don't forget the seriousness of wildfires next time you are out there.