June 5 First News: Tres Lagunas Fire at 9,000 acres / Thompson Ridge at 7400. (listen)
The Tres Lagunas Fire to our east near Pecos has now scorched 9,000 acres. The 750 personnel working the fire have managed to achieve 15% containment. The City of Las Vegas has continued to express concern for its watershed areas. As of today, there will be no public entry for the Santa Fe National Forest Pecos Las Vegas Ranger District. Meanwhile, the Thompson Ridge Fire burning in the Jemez has prompted the closure of Fenton Lake as its being used as a staging area for water drops. The fire has grown to at least 7400 acres with 5% containment. Over 550 firefighters are on scene. All points of entry into the Valles Caldera Preserve are now closed to the public due to nearby fire activity.
Power lines hit by falling trees are the prime suspects in the cause of those two big wildfires. Now the Public Regulation Commission may take a look at what if anything can be done by electric companies to prevent future fires. The subject is expected to come up this afternoon at a public meeting of the commission in Santa Fe. Officials of the Mora-San Miguel Electric Co-op tell KRQE-TV that it boils down to land owners giving up more land so power companies have wider easements for their lines.
A new report from the US Bureau of labor Statistics shows workers in Santa Fe had an average hourly wage of $20.40 in May 2012, about 7 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01. Across 22 categories of jobs, food preparation and service accounts for 11.8 % of local area employment, significantly higher than the 8.9% US average. Local wages in that sector average $11.99 an hour. That's 15% higher than the rest of the country overall.
Santa Fe Mayor David Coss will join several of his counterparts from other cities across the nation today in issuing a call for the US Supreme Court to extend marriage equality to all Americans by striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. A court decision is expected soon. The Respect for Marriage Coalition will host a press conference call today with Coss along with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and San Antonio's Julián Castro among others.
An 87-year-old man is expected to attend an event this afternoon noting the anniversary of the raid on the Rio Arriba County Courthouse. Reies Tijerina was a land-grant activist who organized the failed raid. They were trying to make a citizen's arrest of a county prosecutor. Today's event at the Luceros Historical Ranch in Alcalde is designed to be a seminar on land and water issues.
Dr. Carmen Gonzales has been named as Vice President of Student Success for Santa Fe Community College. Dr. Gonzales has formed the Center for Academic Transitions, which helps students transition to a four-year college or into the workforce. In collaboration with the college’s deans, Dr. Gonzales has helped increase the number of certificate programs that are eligible for Pell grant assistance.
Weather for Santa Fe – partly sunny today with high smoke across the area through morning hours. Later, a 30% chance for afternoon and evening thundershowers with highs in the low 80s. That same chance for precipitation remains in the forecast tomorrow and Friday with highs from the mid-to-upper 70s.