Saturday, June 2, 2018

New Mexico wildfire season begins in earnest

After a string of hot, dry days a change to cooler temperatures, higher humidities, maybe even thunderstorms through this weekend could slow two major wildfires burning in New Mexico.

The grass and ponderosa pine-driven Ute Park Fire burning near Cimarron is nearing 30,000 acres, has forced evacuations, is expected to grow even more then burn back into its footprint and lay down.

The Buzzard Fire in the Gila National Forest has cleared some 24,000 acres.

Ponderosa pine sucks millions of gallons from aquifer recharges, needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt. Fact is: it’s far, far cheaper to bill the feds after a wildfire than it is to conduct fuel treatments. That’s because it's less litigious to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Every incident like the Ute Park Fire is a teaching moment: episodes where humans are humbled by climate disruptions created by our own failures. People who build in the wildland-urban interface do so at their own risk and not because they expect the feds to bail them out because insurance costs too much.

There are no mysteries here. Not talking about fuel treatments during a wildfire is akin to not talking about background checks during a mass shooting. The solutions are simple. We must talk more about how stakeholders and policy makers interact with voters instead of reacting to an industry-driven executive branch being forged by a Zinke-powered bellows. We'll adapt or die.

Want to slow planet warming and flatten the Keeling Curve?

New Mexico has been home to a much larger aspen community in the fairly recent past. Clear the second growth ponderosa pine, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids.

1 comment:

larry kurtz said...

Judith from #uteparkfire media told me slurry bombers are applying two Phos-Chek products: LC95A, a liquid concentrate and MVP100, a powder. Tankers are coming from Roswell, ABQ and Phoenix Gateway.