Las Conchas Fire

More smoke descended on downtown Santa Fe from yet another fire. The Las Conchas forest fire broke out around 1 p.m. June 26th and grew to 3,500 acres by night fall. Los Alamos only 12 miles away is on alert. Too close for comfort to LANL and the nuke industry. Check with the New Mexican for more specifics. Or find useful fire information here such as this:
    • What’s in smoke from a wildfire?
    • Smoke is made up of small particles, gases and water vapor. Water vapor makes up the majority of smoke. The remainder includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, irritant volatile organic compounds, air toxins and very small particles.
    • Is smoke bad for me? Yes. It’s a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. 
    • Remember your P’s: people, pets, personnel papers and pictures. 

Time lapse Video by Michael Zeiler made from over 1000 stills.

Meanwhile it is past 11 PM I had to chose between more smoke drifting inside or closing windows and spending the night again in sticky, hot air. I keep 3 spray bottles with varied essential oils combos conducive to breathing in reach. My last batch made up from a few drops of Grapefruit,  fewer Lemongrass and 2 drops of Clove. It makes for a very aromatic, refreshing and pleasant scent.

Sweet dreams to those in similar time zones, mine have been vivid of late. In fact I just remember yesterday waking up as I was reaching for a chair to defend myself from an intruder. I was rather impressed with myself for having the presence of mind to reach for a chair as a tool of defense. I chalked it up to having felt a bit exposed because I had not pulled the curtain. So back again to wishing all those in need the rest they deserve.

6.27.11, 8 a.m.: The fire has grown to about 44,000 acres and to only 1 mile distance from LANL!
6.27.11, 1 p.m.: Mandatory evacuations from Los Alamos ordered!
6.27.11, 4 p.m.: 50,000 acres! 
6.28.11:             60,000 acres! More favorable fire fighting conditions today.
6.29.11: 11 a.m.: 69,555 acres!
6.30.11:               93,000 acres!
7.03.11:             The 121,248 acres Las Conchas fire continues to burn close to Los Alamos.
                          Evacuation for Los Alamos residents is over, they may return!
7.5.11:               127,821 acres, 4 injured to date,
                          10 active fires in the state of New Mexico.
7.11.11:             148,000 acres, 50% contained 
7.15.11: 2 a.m.: 150,041 acres, 61% contained
                          (The smoke is heavy in Cochiti pueblo was again bad in Santa Fe the night before, 
                           but not today.)
7.28.11:             Las Conchas fire almost contained spread, over 244 square miles, destroyed 63 homes.
8.2.11:               Finally 100% contained!
Early morning weather patterns create extra heavy smoke.
The Espanola Animal Shelter will take in some pets, but more private boarding options are needed.


  1. What a lot of ash out in the yard. The sun rose pink through a layer of smoke, the stars had been hidden most of the night as far as I could tell. The kitty had a runny nose and is very unhappy and the fire now is very close to LANL where gas service got shut off and workers were told to stay away and everyone is on alert. The winds have again picked up and may push the fire further towards Los Alamos and smoke in to Santa Fe. It does feel apocalyptic. I have mulled over what to do in case, not very likely here in downtown Santa Fe. But gosh, a neighbor might forget to blow out a candle, a transient might throw a butt our way and it all could go up in a puff of smoke. So what would I do in an emergency? But I am in no panic, thanks to running water - a shower first.

  2. 43,000 acres reported in the noon news!

  3. 6.27.11 1:45 P.M.: Mandatory Evacuations for Los Alamos Residents! Espanola Animal Shelter is prepared to shelter pets and seeks private homes that can board pets in need.