I’ve just been instructed that I’m not to come to work tomorrow.
The Las Conchas fire, which started in the Jemez mountains just this afternoon, is already burning so badly (thanks to this afternoon’s 50 mile per hour wind gusts– now you see why I complain about wind all the time) that they’re closing LANL tomorrow. And they’re talking about evacuating the county. (That part doesn’t effect me, because I don’t live in Los Alamos county.)
The Pacheco fire, to my east, continues burning up the Santa Fe National Forest, very close to the ski basin.
I wasn’t living in New Mexico during the infamous Cerro Grande fire of 2000. I’ve talked to many people who went through that, but I only know secondhand just how bad that was (and how much worse it might have been). I can’t imagine what the survivors of Cerro Grande are feeling right now. This must be bringing many flashbacks and terrible memories. How awful for everyone involved.
I’m heartbroken. Both of these fires are chewing up some of the most lovely scenery, places where I love to drive and hike and, possibly, ski. The hills around parts of Los Alamos are barren, studded with charred matchstick trees. The view from my office window shows Pajarito Mountain, which didn’t burn during Cerro Grande, right alongside pieces of the Jemez that did burn. It’s a stunning comparison.
Normally, I don’t complain if circumstances give me an unexpected day off. Normally, though, that means a snow day. But this… I much, much would have preferred the long and difficult Monday at work than this.
Send rain, if you can.