Thursday, April 13, 2006

Fire Season Already : Ojo Feliz Fire

There is a fire near Ojo Feliz (map) on the other side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Both the Morning Briefing and the Large Fire Incident Report from the Southwest Coordination Center say roughly the same thing: "OJO FELIZ (reported anywhere up to 10,000 acres) is burning in Mora County in New Mexico State Forestry's Las Vegas District. Human-caused, the fire started Wednesday, spreading quickly and leading to evacuation of the communities of Ojo Feliz, Los Huertos, Hidden Lake, and numerous ranches in the area. An emergency shelter has been set up at Mora High School Gymnasium. Highway 442 is closed between la Cueva and Ocate. Bob Lineback's Type 2 Incident Management Team has been ordered to replace Type 3 Incident Commander Jaymes Smith. Some 125 firefighters are fighting the fire."

This is depressingly early. Look for the National Forests to close themselves to visitors well before Memorial Day.

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