Beauty and terror: See photos of the Albuquerque Bosque fire

By: - May 26, 2022 4:09 pm

The 30-acre bosque fire burns Wednesday evening. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source New Mexico).

Photographer Bright Quashie was heading back to Albuquerque from Rio Rancho when he heard news of a fire erupting in the Bosque along either side of the Rio Grande.

Around 6 p.m., he drove around the perimeter of the fire, trying to capture photos from closeup.

“I just tried to capture the beauty of Albuquerque, along with the terror that was the fire,” he said. “Both were sorta happening at the same time.”

The 30-acre fire started Wednesday evening along the west side of the Rio Grande and eventually reached the east side. It sent a huge plume of smoke over the city, coating air filters with soot and ash.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, Albuquerque residents received a public safety alert informing the public of some trail closures, including on the east side between Montaño Road and Campbell Road and, on the west side, from Montaño Road to Andalucia Park. It’s not clear when those closures will be lifted.

By Thursday afternoon, the fire was contained, but embers still burned, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said at a news conference. About 100 personnel responded.

The fire is the latest to erupt in New Mexico amid historically dry conditions. The biggest fire in the United States is burning near Las Vegas, N.M., having consumed more than 311,000 acres. And simultaneously in southern New Mexico, the 180,000-acre Black Fire yesterday became the third-biggest in state history.

Below, a handful of Quashie’s photos of the Bosque fire:

The Rio Grande runs through Albuquerque, bisecting the city into the Eastside and Westside. Flames reached both on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source New Mexico)

Plumes over Albuquerque at sunset on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source New Mexico.)

Smoke over Albuquerque on Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source New Mexico)

A helicopter responds to the Bosque fire Wednesday evening. (Photo by Bright Quashie for Source New Mexico)

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Patrick Lohmann
Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard.