The newest fire in the Santa Fe area has ballooned in size to more than 6,000 acres. The latest report on the Jaroso fire in the Pecos Wildnerness came late last night before new infrared mapping could be done. A huge pyrocumulus cloud erupted from the area, creating opportunity for photographers and causing concern among local residents. But Santa Fe city hall has tried to calm fears, saying it is some 20 miles in a straight line from the city. It's burning in rugged terrain accessible only by helicopter. Only 60 personnel are assigned thus far and there is no containment.
Reports this morning will detail overnight activity at the Thompson Ridge fire in the Jemez. It grew to nearly 22,000 acres yesterday, fanned by high winds and high temperatures. It stands at 50 percent containment.
A nuclear watchdog group is calling for former Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson to be removed from a Department of Energy advisory panel. Nuclear Watch New Mexico says Wilson's role on the panel should be questioned because she was paid consultant fees of nearly a half million dollars by the Los Alamos and other nuclear labs without evidence of what she provided them. The for-profit companies running the labs have since reimbursed the government for the expenses.
Santa Fe County Commissioners have moved to enforce the most stringent restrictions on the use of fireworks ahead of the 4th of July holiday. Similar bans have been previously put into place by local governments across the state due to extreme fire danger. State law prohibits enacting complete bans. Instead, limited restrictions can be put in place 30 days at a time when excessive danger is declared. Santa Fe City Council addresses the matter at tonight's meeting.
Governor Susana Martinez joined Children, Youth and Families Department Cabinet Secretary Yolanda Deines in Bernalillo County to kick off the Summer Food Service Program. It runs through August 9th and ensures youth up to age 18 have quality meals that they would otherwise receive during the school year. Federal funds pay for the program which operates statewide and nationally under guidance from the USDA. In 2012, it provided 1.8 million meals to New Mexico kids. A new national report found that New Mexico ranks number one for hungry children.
Real estate data clearinghouse CoreLogic is out with new statistics on "negative equity", referring to the number of mortgages wherein more is owed on a property than its current value. New Mexico ranks comfortably in the middle of states mirroring the national trend of improving loan-to-value ratios. Of our state's currently active quarter million mortgages, just over 13% are in negative equity. That compares favorably to states like Nevada where more than 45% are underwater.
The modern water war between our state and Texas over access to the Rio Grande is an expensive legal morass. The Texas Tribune is reporting that the Lone Star state has earmarked $5 million to sue New Mexico over the matter in a case that could get in front of the US Supreme Court. Under historic agreements, New Mexico has rights to 57% of Rio Grande flow from the Elephant Butte reservoir southward with Texas at 43%. Texas says we've been siphoning off too much.
Weather for Santa Fe – hot and sunny again today with highs around 90 degrees. A very slight chance for an early evening thundershow. Overnight lows in the low 60s. Temperatures back off a bit tomorrow with highs in the upper 80s.