Friday, July 15, 2005

Bosque fires and late monsoons.

Bernallilo fireYesterday while driving home I saw the telltale signs of a fire north of me. Large plumes of brown smoke not long after the 4th of July is a common enough occurance around here. There were two fires in the Corrales and Bernalillo areas, and another one, a brush fire, over near the airforce base on Albuquerque.
Usually what happens is children (or child-like adults) play with leftover fireworks in the dry grass. Sometimes it's kids playing with matches, or a cigarette tossed out of a car, but usually it's leftover fireworks. A couple years back a large area of the bosque (pronounced, "bah-ske" was burned, and you can still see the damage. While not causing as widespread damage as a forest fire, it nonetheless threatens homes, wildlife, and lives. According to local news souces, the fire in Corrales started in a yard in which there were propane tanks and no easily reached water source; these complicated efforts to put out the fire. The home, belonging to a 55-year-old grandmother (who isn't even home) was destroyed, as was a shed, camper, and 3 cars, and as of 10:00 last night, it was reported that the fire had spread to 2 other homes.
You'd think NM residents would be hip to the fact that:
1) we live in the high desert and it's very dry and hot here in July.
2) The monsoons (annual rains) are late this year.
3) fireworks are flammable (duh) AND illegal this time of year. Maybe for a reason?

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