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Old 06-09-2012, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
2,320 posts, read 2,119,462 times
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Default Little Bear Fire

Ruidoso has seen several devastating wildfires in the past decade, but the one now burning up the White Mtn. Wilderness and the area of Lincoln Co. just outside the N and E Ruidoso village limits is the most destructive, by far. If it did nothing but destroy the prettiest part of the local forest, it would be bad enough. But this fire, which began high on a ridge above the Ski Apache ski area, has jumped all the way down the mountain into the flatter terrain on either side of NM-37 and 48 and county rd. 220.

Here is a 2:45pm update from today that tells what is known. It's such an intensely burning fire that no one knows for certain the extent or the damage done, with much more to come in the next days. Winds gusted to over 40mph today and the same conditions are forecast for the next two days before the front passes on through. It is VERY abnormal to have such winds in June, but what is normal in this age of warming climate changes?

LITTLE BEAR FIRE UPDATE

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Old 06-10-2012, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
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Gov. Martinez is on her way to Ruidoso (Sunday, 6/10) to review the ongoing fire efforts and lend her support. Last night US Rep Steve Pearce attended a meeting of about 1,000 residents (or 6,000, depending on who you believe) and excoriated the Forest Service for its handling of this and other fires in recent years. Here is an update article today:

PEARCE EXPRESSES OUTRAGE

I too have been questioning why this fire wasn't totally extinguished earlier in the week when there was a chance to do so. History repeats itself as a fire that destroyed the Capitan Mtn forests several years ago also was "let burn" rather than being aggressively fought while it was small.

For those wondering about friends and property in the area, no one is being allowed into the areas evacuated so far as of this morning. Information is therefore very sketchy on the actual state of affairs at the moment.

Last edited by joqua; 06-10-2012 at 08:04 AM..
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:09 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
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As somebody watching from the sidelines, I can't help but wonder how much of this outrage is merely grandstanding.

I can't imagine they had legions of firefighters sitting around playing Xbox while this fire was supposed to burn itself out; those guys were probably hard at work on that Baldy-Whitewater thing or other fires deemed to be bigger threats at the time.

Say what you want about the forest service, but at least those guys pick up shovels sometimes.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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This fire, like most burining in the Rocky Mountain West, is a result of a century of fire suppression leading to massive fuel buildup in the forests. The longer the fires are suppressed, the more devastating they will be when they do occur. The cycle works like this: fire suppression leads to overcrowding of trees and more fuels on the forest floor; overcrowded trees are more susceptible to pest infestations that weaken or kill them (mountain pine beetle being one); more fuels on the forest floor and lots of dead trees make an ignition (from whatever source) more likely to occur in a dry year; when there is an ignition, the abundance of "ladder fuels" and dead trees allow the fire to "crown out"; a crown fire not only burns the dead trees and ground fuels, but also the live, healthy trees.

Unfortunately, the table has been set for these kinds of fires to burn all over the Rocky Mountain West. There is really not much that can be done to either prevent them or control them at this point. They are going to do what they are going to do. There are no quick or cheap fixes for a century of fuel buildup in the forests; once a fire starts, there is none. By nature's way, the fire itself is the "fix."
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:07 AM
 
47,586 posts, read 32,295,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
As somebody watching from the sidelines, I can't help but wonder how much of this outrage is merely grandstanding.

I can't imagine they had legions of firefighters sitting around playing Xbox while this fire was supposed to burn itself out; those guys were probably hard at work on that Baldy-Whitewater thing or other fires deemed to be bigger threats at the time.

Say what you want about the forest service, but at least those guys pick up shovels sometimes.
I kind of agree. I don't live in the forest, I live in a desert area and this long drought doesn't make me very surprised that there would be some forest fires.

After that last big forest fire in Ruidoso, I made the decision not to buy a cabin or house there, just have a travel trailer instead. Forest fires are part of the natural way -- like it or not.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:34 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
459 posts, read 669,628 times
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BINGO, we have a winner. When it comes to Pierce it's all political grandstanding!
Pierce is part of the problem, not the solution!
As long as he, and the likes of him, continue to refuse to fund the Forest Service and then expect them to do their jobs it will be like this.
As long as they make silly rules that prohibit the use of motorized vehicles in the White Mountain Wilderness this will continue. Thats right folks. As long as this is burning in the WMW they can't use any conventional tools on the ground. They even have to hike in, many miles, to fight it by hand. That and air op's. Took special permission to simply set a helecopter down to let a crew off.
Keep in mind that the Forest Service has over 200,000 acres ready to be thinned in the Lincoln. Congress refuses to provide them the funding to do so!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoidberg View Post
As somebody watching from the sidelines, I can't help but wonder how much of this outrage is merely grandstanding.

I can't imagine they had legions of firefighters sitting around playing Xbox while this fire was supposed to burn itself out; those guys were probably hard at work on that Baldy-Whitewater thing or other fires deemed to be bigger threats at the time.

Say what you want about the forest service, but at least those guys pick up shovels sometimes.
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Old 06-10-2012, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,799 posts, read 4,007,289 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtncat View Post
BINGO, we have a winner. When it comes to Pierce it's all political grandstanding!
Pierce is part of the problem, not the solution!
As long as he, and the likes of him, continue to refuse to fund the Forest Service and then expect them to do their jobs it will be like this.
As long as they make silly rules that prohibit the use of motorized vehicles in the White Mountain Wilderness this will continue. Thats right folks. As long as this is burning in the WMW they can't use any conventional tools on the ground. They even have to hike in, many miles, to fight it by hand. That and air op's. Took special permission to simply set a helecopter down to let a crew off.
Keep in mind that the Forest Service has over 200,000 acres ready to be thinned in the Lincoln. Congress refuses to provide them the funding to do so!
I tried to find a Pearce vote that validates that assumption that he's against funding the Forest Service for fire prevention (seems like there'd be several), but the one vote of his (pre-Teague) I did find on the subject was a vote in support for funding them.

I don't have to like the guy but I don't think it's right to tar and feather people on mischaracterizations of their voting records.

Maybe someone else can dig up an anti-forest service action on Pearce's part. So far I haven't found one.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
459 posts, read 669,628 times
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Pearce is for anything that put's his name in front of the voters.
Do a google search for "Otero County Tree Party" and take a look at what was put out to the media and the public by Pearce and a local commissioner.
Then send me your e-mail address in a PM and when I get a few minutes to scan all the documents I'll send you what really happened. About 180 degrees off from the lies told by Pearce and Rardin.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Sacramento Mtns of NM
2,320 posts, read 2,119,462 times
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I didn't begin this thread to make a political statement and only referenced the news article on Pearce because it echoed my own concerns for how this small local lightning strike fire became the huge mess it's become.

As for the Forest Service actions - I refer readers to the ubiquitous reminders in every campground in the USA to "drown your fire dead out!" Seems to me a contradiction in terms when the Forest Service can hesitate to quench a naturally caused fire in a "dead out" manner rather than simply trying to encircle it with a "fire line" that has minimal chances of holding in high winds - atop a mountain peak! That's what's meant when they use the words "containment/contained." I want to hear that the fire is OUT - DEAD OUT!

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Old 06-11-2012, 09:23 AM
 
Location: Abu Al-Qurq
2,799 posts, read 4,007,289 times
Reputation: 1600
Quote:
Originally Posted by joqua View Post
I didn't begin this thread to make a political statement and only referenced the news article on Pearce because it echoed my own concerns for how this small local lightning strike fire became the huge mess it's become.

As for the Forest Service actions - I refer readers to the ubiquitous reminders in every campground in the USA to "drown your fire dead out!" Seems to me a contradiction in terms when the Forest Service can hesitate to quench a naturally caused fire in a "dead out" manner rather than simply trying to encircle it with a "fire line" that has minimal chances of holding in high winds - atop a mountain peak! That's what's meant when they use the words "containment/contained." I want to hear that the fire is OUT - DEAD OUT!

Doesn't sound like you understand how forest fires are fought.

If they had 20 million gallons of water available and deployable, naturally, they'd use them.

Campers can put out their campfires because that small quantity of water is easily available.
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