The Fourth Northern Climate Zone
What's happening with our planet?
The Whitewater Fire in Southern New Mexico started with a lightning strike on the side of a deep canyon with a very heavy fuel load. After smoldering for a few days while the Forest Service ignored it, it finally took off up the hill. The first blowup was on an almost windless day. Starting early in the day, it made a long, full canopy run up a heavily timbered steep canyon. By late afternoon the smoke had drifted down over Silver City. The next day, the wind took over and there was no stopping it. Had it happened on a wet year, it would have been a cleansing and rejuvenating fire that would protect the forest in the dry years, but in the middle of a drought, it was disastrous. A lot of very old virgin forest went up in smoke.