Where There's Smoke...
Tesuque horses under hazy sky
My plan for the day was to be outside walking early in Santa Fe’s cool morning air, but as soon as I woke up my eyes were tearing from the smoke. Arizona’s massive Wallow Fire is 200 miles away, yet it’s suffocating Santa Fe with gauzy skies of hazy smoke instead of our usual sapphire blue mountain skies. Cars are covered with ash, eyes sting, and we’re being advised to stay indoors. Afternoon highs are hovering around 90 as the drought persists here.
The giant Wallow Fire is said to be bigger than New York City and 0% contained right now. It is likely to spread into New Mexico. Our New Mexico fire fighters are on their way to help out at the inferno. So far, Monday night’s burning smell and smoky skies were the worst I’ve ever experienced in Santa Fe. Tonight my eyes still sting and a severe weather advisory is in effect for most of the state, with visibilities reduced to below three miles in Santa Fe, and less in other western and central swaths of New Mexico. The whole issue of fire control is a complicated one, with environmentalists, government, and communities often at odds about when and how to squelch a wildfire: for more on that, read Philip Connors’ excellent book “Fire Season,” which I wrote about in an April blog.
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Above: My mustang Ryo in Tesuque, NM. Our barn owner in Malibu described him as Ghandi-esque because Ryo didn't fight for the best feed bin like the other horses. When Ryo died in Tesuque, I turned on my car radio to hear John Lennon singing "Imagine"... that was Ryo "living life in peace."
PHOTOS BY WOLF SCHNEIDER