Saturday, June 9, 2012

Whitewater-Baldy New Mexico Wildfire

The enormous wildfire in New Mexico, mentioned regularly on network news programs, is burning near the Continental Divide in the Gila National Forest in Catron County, which is within the service area of our Red Cross - The American Red Cross in Southwestern New Mexico.
Dinah & I have not been involved with the fire, but it has made the news frequently enough that I felt it deserved a mention here. It is the largest wild fire in New Mexico history. As of 8AM this morning (Saturday 9 June) it has burned almost 275,000 acres which is over 425 square miles, and is about 1/3 contained. Currently, the fire is being fought by 826 fire personnel with 30 engines, 27 water trucks, 4 dozers, and 10 helicopters.  For the last several days temperatures have been in the 90s and humidity in the single digits.  Today there is a "Reg Flag" high wind warning. The fire is 100 miles or more northwest of Las Cruces, but we have had at least one day with lowered visibility and a smell of smoke. You can see more about this fire at http://inciweb.org/incident/article/2870/14152
As of last Monday, there is another fire on the eastern boundary of our Red Cross area; the Little Bear Fire, near Ruidoso, NM, which is expected to require evacuations, and the opening of a Red Cross shelter.
Dinah's hip replacement has kept her out of active Red Cross service, and I have been attempting to limit my role to facilities maintenance, and computerized record keeping. Dinah & I still respond to single family fires but I'm trying to phase myself out of that as well.

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