Friday, July 15, 2011

The Las Conchas fire just never ends.

I just took these pictures tonight at sunset. The Las Conchas fire in the Jemez Mountains is still sending up a huge plume of smoke.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The 2011 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

The annual Folk Art Market here in Santa Fe was held this past weekend.

I went to the event on Sunday morning with two of my friends and we had a great time. It was the first time I have ever attended. We beat the heavy crowds and the July heat by going early in the day.

The market was wonderful - big, colorful, and full of beautiful crafts from all over the world. We loved looking at everything, and seeing so many of the vendors in costume was maybe the best part.

The people who run this event every year do a fantastic job. We had a great time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Las Conchas Fire.

This huge wildfire in the Jemez Mountains (largest fire EVER in the State of New Mexico) has been burning for less than a week now, and is now up to nearly 114,000 acres, affecting the town of Los Alamos, Bandelier National Monument, Santa Clara and Cochiti Pueblos, the Dixon Apple Orchard, and the Valles Caldera, as well as many other scenic forested areas and canyons throughout the Jemez Mountains.

The fire was believed to be started last Sunday afternoon when a tree limb hit a power line on private property near mile marker 35 on N.M. 4.

1,200 firefighters are now battling the blaze, which has resulted in the town of Los Alamos being evacuated and the National Lab being closed for the entire past week. Smoke from the fire has been settling over many areas of northern New Mexico, depending which way the wind is blowing, and dealing with the smoke smell and ash has become a common occurence for us.

Containment as of this morning is only about 4%. The firefighting experts are telling us the fire is likely to burn until the summer monsoons arrive, hopefully very soon.

An announcement from The Los Alamos National Laboratory this morning said: "At no time were nuclear or hazardous materials in harm's way, thanks to immediate and effective action taken by fire and emergency crews, apart from safeguards in place before the conflagration."

Watching this fire has been fascinating and heartbreaking. I can get a clear view of the smoke plumes and even flames from my west window of the house. The Jemez Mountains are one of my favorite places for sightseeing and visiting in the state, and I dread seeing one day how things look up there, and imagining how long it will be for the forest to regenerate.

I took these pictures last night from my house: