June 11 First News: A new blaze, the Jaroso Fire, has broken out SE of Chimayó. (listen)

Credit Dan Gerrity for KSFR

A new fire that erupted in the Pecos Wilderness after a lightning strike is believed to have grown to 1000 acres as of this morning. The Jaroso Fire is burning in steep terrain southeast of Chimayó.  Fire officials expect high fire activity today as the area has hundreds of acres of downed trees felled in a strong wind incident some years ago. Meanwhile, good progress has been made in containing the Tres Lagunas Fire near Pecos with full suppression possible by this weekend. The 21,000 acre Thompson Ridge Fire in the Jemez is now 50% contained with very little new growth.

The union representing nurses at Christus St. Vincent Hospital has taken a complaint to state regulators, alleging that the hospital has neglected patient safety by not providing enough nurses for the number of patients at the facility.  They say they collected several years worth of documentation to support their claim.  UCLA professor Jack Needleman told KSFR News his study of nurse-staffing levels shows a direct connection with patient deaths. *** Officials at Christus have not responded to KSFR's request for comment.

The state supreme court says judges can authorize search warrants over the telephone without actually seeing written requests.  The decision overturned a lower court ruling that found a warrant  was invalid because a local judge had approved it over the phone. The Las Cruces Sun News reports that the high court recently amended its rules for district courts, allowing them to approve search warrants by remote methods, including telephone.

New Mexico's two U.S. Senators are calling for federal agencies and local utility companies to work together to find ways to prevent wildfires from falling trees. Meanwhile, Public Regulation Commissioner Valerie Espinoza of Santa Fe is trying to establish a task force to tackle the issue. She is asking utility companies to work on their plans for clearing vegetation around power lines.

A national hunger relief charity has published a report showing that New Mexico ranks number one for hungry children.  It says a third of the state's children lack enough food to avoid being hungry. New Mexico ranks second in the nation for the number of adults who don't know where they'll get their next meal.

New Mexico's Attorney General has issued an opinion that may prevent that proposed horse slaughtering facility down Roswell way from operating even if given all USDA approvals to do so. Gary King says that horse meat fitting the legal definition of an adulterated food product under the NM Food Act may not be manufactured, sold, or delivered anywhere in New Mexico, regardless of where the food is ultimately sold or consumed. Routine veterinary medicines for horses fulfill the definition of “adulterated.” Valley Meat Company is waiting to clear final hurdles to begin processing horsemeat for export.

On Friday, June 14th, a new state law sponsored by state representative Brian Egolf of Santa Fe takes effect regarding pay equity for women. The New Mexico Fair Pay for Women Act  prohibits employers with four or more employees from discriminating between employees on the basis of sex.  It requires equal pay irrespective of gender for all work performed under the same skill requirements and responsibilities.

Weather for Santa Fe – Both today and Wednesday promise more temperatures in the low 90s under sunny and dry skies. Temperatures cool slightly thereafter to the upper 80s along with slight chances for an afternoon or evening thundershower.  Overnight lows in the low 60s.