Did you say drought?

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The Fleck man linked to this chart, showing snowpack levels for the West. From Inkstain:

Not much chance of rain over the next week, which means we’ll end the month with 0.04 inch in Albuquerque for January. With 0.10 in December, that puts us (by my quick back of the envelope calculation) at the fifth-driest Dec.-Jan. in history. 1966-67 was the worst, with 0.02 inch.

Things are not looking good for New Mexico. I guess it’s no surprise that everybody who knows anything is predicting a crazy fire season:

According to a recently released report from the Southwest Coordination Center, a multiagency fire-management organization based in Albuquerque, this fire season is shaping up to be more active than usual across New Mexico, Arizona, parts of Texas and California. Warm and dry conditions are predicted to continue through May. Southwest firefighters are expecting the fire season to heat up in March instead of May this year, unless it is offset by an unexpected healthy dose of spring moisture.

I have an opportunity to take a 32-hour course on fire-fighting in February, an opportunity I likely won’t pass up. Heck, if I could pass the physical test, I could even become certified.

That’s wishful thinking, however.

Still, my guy Gary Benavidez, with New Mexico State Forestry, said the training will be good. He said they discuss basic fire suppression, management, terminology, etc. All the stuff an enterprising young reporter would want to know before the start of a perilous fire season.

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