But on to happier things. We are not on fire, at least not right now. The prairies are, however. Red Flag Warnings in ten states, including our part of Colorado. Big blazes like the Rhea Fire in Oklahoma, now more than 286,000 acres. Quite a few smaller ones too — southeastern El Paso County and eastern Pueblo County (Colorado) seem to be getting hammered.
At the Wildfire Today blog, Bill Gabbert labels the OK Bar fire in southern New Mexico as an "under the radar" fire.
The fire is being managed by New Mexico State Forestry using a less than full suppression strategy. Fires not being suppressed do not receive the same exposure from the public agencies as conventional blazes, and this one may get even less in the next few days. After it grew by almost 5,000 acres on Friday, the national Situation Report for Saturday described the fire like this:Just two weeks ago I was on an Amtrak train chugging through the Berkshires in western Massachusetts. For one thing, there was more snow on the ground than around my house! (It had all melted six days later, on the return trip.)
Extreme fire behavior. Last narrative report unless significant activity occurs.
Since you are usually seated opposite strangers in the dining car, you have these conversations about topics such as train travel or the weather or where you live as compared to where they live and the natural hazards associated with each place.
It's true, people in the East just don't "get" wildfire, or the community PTSD that sets in after one after another after another have come knocking at your door. That's OK, I don't "get" hurricanes. (Tornadoes, yes.)
I look at our the window at the leafless, grey Eastern deciduous forests passing by and think, "If it's true that the Indians used to burn these woods agriculture or attracting big game, how they manage to do it? Wait for the perfect day in September? Because they always seem too moist."