Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dancing Between the Smoke Plumes

Torrey, Utah --

Yeah, I know it's raining in ABQ as I write this, that Old Testament level rain and wind battered the Duke City yesterday, and that is all is now well and good on the monsoon/drought front (of course, not really). Still, other parts of the Southwest aren't doing so wet. The picture above was taken about 75 miles north of a fire just outside Zion National Park in southern Utah.

My photo skills are nonexistant, but hopefully you can make out the smoke plume...noting that big fires don't just happen in heavy wind. The plume just goes straight up.

My original idea was to go through Zion, and I drove all the way to the park gate at Springdale. The $20.00 fee was irritating, but not nearly as irritating as the heavy asthma-inducing smoke, so I turned around and decided to go to Cedar Breaks instead. On the way out of Springdale, I stopped off for snacks and the store owner was telling everyone that she expected a power outage any second as the fire had made it to the power poles leading into the village.

She was pissed in general, and mad at BLM in particular, as she put it "everyone knows they mismanaged this fire. Just ask the Springdale Fire Department. They'll tell you how mismanaged this fire was."

The smoke and the heavy criticism of fire officials really made me feel at home in Springdale. If the store owner had just dropped words like "bosque" and "kids running from the scene" in her diatribe I could have closed my eyes and been right back in the South Valley.

It's unfortunate, but true....fires are bringing us Southwesterners together. I didn't even mention passing the fire north of Sedona, and have only heard about the fire on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Atomic-like plumes are coming up all over...

Fortunately the rocks aren't on fire at Capitol Reef National Park

P.S.: Today is Primary Day in Utah, a day in which voters get to decide which extreme family values Republican will get to serve. Just as in NM the liquor stores (here they are "state liquor agencies") are closed today. One wonders how getting plastered would affect a voter's judgement in picking between one rabidly extreme family values Republican and another rabidly extreme family values Republican. Given those options, one might also wonder whether getting plastered is pretty much the only compelling solution.

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