Well, as I alluded yesterday, I had an article about the upcoming fire season in the Daily Press last night ((Of course, being the banner story and all, it’s not included on our Web site)). The article (June Fire Update â€” PDF) talked about the fuel and weather conditions in the Southwest, and about some of the recent fire activity we’ve had in the area.
One of the things that stuck out while writing the story was the realization of the dependent relationships that make fire season what it is, particularly here in southwest New Mexico and especially after a wet winter or spring.
As the grass and brush that sprouted as a result of those wet months dries out in the early summer heat, the threat of wildfire jumps because there’s more fuel on the ground. The heat, however, plays another role in increasing the danger. The high temperatures mean less moisture is required for convection, so thunderstorms build up and move into the area. However, there’s not quite enough moisture to result in rain.
Thunderstorms – rain = dry lightning. Voila: wildfire!
Of course, the story appeared the same afternoon that we had our first good rain of the summer, and all our newspapers were wrapped up in plastic bags to protect them. Such is the life of a reporter.
Anyhoo, the weather did provide an awesome opportunity for photography (gotta love the overcast light). Below, a few of the images from yesterday, including this shot of a pigeon that let me get within a foot with my macro lens and never flew away: