Environment & Climate Change

Black Fire moves quickly through the Gila

BY: - June 3, 2022

Forecasts show only a slight chance of rain this evening — and no chance this weekend — in southwestern New Mexico, where the Black Fire consumes the Gila and remains mostly unchecked. During one of the worst wildfire years ever recorded in state history, the Black Fire emerged last month in the Gila National Forest.  […]

FEMA disaster resource center set up at VFW in Mora

BY: - June 2, 2022

People who want information about federal disaster assistance to help with property loss due to the recent fires in New Mexico now have a place to do so in person. Federal officials with FEMA and the SBA have set up shop at the VFW Post 1131 located off NM Highway 518 in Mora. There residents […]

To understand the orphan well problem in NM, someone’s going to have to count them

BY: - May 31, 2022

The 50-square-mile stretch of public land known as Glade Run is described on the Bureau of Land Management’s website as a “great spot for the weekend warrior.”  Glade Run is punctured by 600 oil and gas wells, connected by hundreds of access roads and an arterial network of buried gathering lines that leave unvegetated, eroded scars […]

Why won’t the EPA fine New Mexico’s greenhouse gas leakers?

BY: - May 31, 2022

In the fall of 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a helicopter equipped with a leak-detecting infrared camera to criss-cross the Permian Basin looking for gaseous emissions, part of a monitoring program undertaken at the behest of and in partnership with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Over the course of nine days, the EPA […]

Vilsack highlights ‘mass timber’ to use small trees cut for wildfire prevention

BY: - May 30, 2022

West Des Moines, Ia. — The federal government plans to remove kindling from about 75 million acres of land in the next decade — which includes thinning smaller-diameter trees from forests — to help prevent wildfires that have become more frequent and destructive in the western states. That presents a problem: “What do you do […]

Calf Canyon wildfire also caused by a prescribed burn, investigators say

BY: - May 27, 2022

A federal forestry agency is claiming responsibility for igniting both of the blazes that merged to become the historic wildfire burning in northern New Mexico today. The cause of the Calf Canyon wildfire in April was a prescribed pile burn the U.S. Forest Service lit in January, the agency’s own investigators announced Friday morning. They […]

Public lands commissioner pledged to refuse fossil fuel money, opponent hasn’t raised any

BY: - May 27, 2022

With the climate crisis intensifying wildfires in New Mexico and across the West, one candidate for public lands commissioner pledged to refuse any money from extractive industries. The other appears to have not raised any money at all. Northern New Mexico has had days that are 15 degrees Fahrenheit above normal temperatures for this time […]

The air we breathe: Coronavirus and smoke in wildfire zones

BY: - May 27, 2022

How do you respond to a global pandemic of a deadly airborne virus and out-of-control wildfires, two different but related crises, happening at the same time? The answer depends on who you ask. For state and federal officials running the evacuation shelters operating in northern New Mexico, it means offering testing and vaccines, and encouraging […]

Beauty and terror: See photos of the Albuquerque Bosque fire

BY: - May 26, 2022

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, […]

New Mexicans affected by wildfire get tax return extension

BY: - May 26, 2022

Residents of the five counties in New Mexico most affected by this year’s wildfires can wait until late August to file their personal or corporate income tax returns, the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department announced Thursday. Residents of Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel and Valencia counties are covered under the extensions. They are eligible if […]

New Mexico county to ease oil and gas drilling rules despite new evidence of health dangers

BY: - May 26, 2022

A mapping project released today by nonprofit environmental groups EarthWorks and FracTracker shows that more than 12.3 million people live within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility in the United States — 144,377 of them in New Mexico. And earlier this month, a mostly rural county just south of Albuquerque passed an ordinance that could […]

What’s next for prescribed burns?

BY: - May 26, 2022

A few embers, carried on high winds, sailed past the containment lines for a prescribed burn north of Las Vegas on the afternoon of April 6. They landed and ignited a swath of dense and bone-dry forest. Six weeks later, more than 310,000 acres had burned — an area about one-quarter the size of the […]