The Forest is CLOSED!
locked, chained, barred, lights out!
Dry, dry, dry - dryer - driest.
Did you know that a forest can be closed? Road blocks up at the turnoffs. Plastic tape across trailheads. It's really amazing.
And that's how DRY it is here. The fire danger is HUGE! We're considered to be a tinderbox in a flint factory. There are hot-shot crews camping out in local motels because the risks are so high.
You know what else? Ruidoso has virtually no water. You can hand-water outdoor plants on Tuesdays only.
Tourists are greeted at the edges of towns with lighted signs saying, No Campfires, Forest Closed, No Outdoor Smoking....oh, yeah, and Welcome to Ruidoso...
It is no longer legal to smoke anywhere except inside your home or vehicle. (Well, there are several money-grubbing restaurants which still insist on maintaining smoking sections and we have one cigar bar.)
I saw a young (addicted) woman outside a (no smoking inside) convenience store where she works trying to smoke: she was crouched on the ground between an ice machine and the open door (to the store) in a tiny triangle created by machine, door and wall.....
A local was fined $500 for throwing a cigerette out her car window.
When a friend inquired about a fire in her firepit (for her birthday bash) she was told that the fine w/be $5000, and that rangers would come looking for the source of smoke.
It's serious, folks.
Please think moist thoughts.
We've had our usual fire season talk here at home. We know which file drawer has to go into the car, and which art pieces need to be grabbed and where the cat box is (it's already stocked with food).
If a fire actually breaks, we'll start putting things in the cars. Since so much of our stuff is packed, we might even load a small trailer we have.....
We smelled smoke this morning. Joel said she first smelled it about 4:30 AM. Normally, we'd ignore it; today we got up and drove around looking for smoke... didn't find it/heard no sirens/saw the hot-shot trucks still at the motel, so we finally decided that someone had gotten cold in the night and lit a fireplace fire...still legal.... Whew!
The 'rainy season' here usually doesn't start until July 4th. 6-7 weeks.
Another reason a move is a good idea.
If you know a rain dance, or a rain dancer....get to it, please.