As if Dog Head area households needed nature to be complicit in another complication. The good news, weather-wise? There don’t appear to be major new flood worries on the near horizon. The less good news, weather-wise? As this is written Monday evening, we are under Wind Advisory and Red Flag conditions.

Those of us who hear weather alerts over living room TV, or when they appear on our electronic devices don’t need to keep one ear tuned for the rumble of either thunder or the rush of water headed downhill. With “winds west 25 to 35 mph with gusts to 55,” the National Weather Service advises that we secure trash cans, lawn furniture and other lightweight outdoor objects.

Let’s try an Aceves area tweaking first, some may not get the alerts. The outlet to plug a boombox into isn’t hot. (That’s assuming that the wall for the outlet is still there.) So, in that area, you’ll need to be using an inverter or generator or batteries. With the phone lines down, family or buddies can’t pass along the caution. Also, there’s no cell signal and it’s a wifi-free zone. But that part is nothing new.

Using that gas-fueled generator is tricky on a Red Flag day. Same goes for gas-powered chainsaws, chippers, or other devices. It’s not a good day to weld; sparks, you know. Even parking your pick-up over what little grass began to come up and is now drying out is a no-no. The undercarriage is even hotter than usual, after laboring more than usual over the rutted public road.

By midweek, when you might read this, the weather will hopefully not be an issue for a few days, while you scramble to repair or restore or rebuild or just clean up. A couple of those overnight lows may be down in the mid- to low-20s, however.

Meanwhile, the 6 a.m. news report this morning updates the new Junkins fire, which has crossed into southern Colorado’s Pueblo County. Let’s be safe.

Water Quality

Following the Tajique meeting (covered elsewhere in this issue of The Independent), an inquiry was sent on Friday to the Surface Water Quality Bureau, N.M. Environment Department. Apparently, few individual homeowners in the fire-affected area have requested (free) water testing. Did they really deserve to be chastised for that? Really?

Friday’s request asked for information about tests which have been conducted on samples from both individual and community wells since Dog Head, as well as tests of surface water down-flow from the burn. General location (appreciating privacy issues related to revealing pin-point location), please? When, please? Tests for what, please? Results, please? Plans for future testing, please?

As of mid-morning on Tuesday, there has been neither response to nor even acknowledgment of the request. What about it, SWQB? Can those of us with concerns help you with collection of samples? Maybe even soil samples? Let’s sit down and talk about it.


Highway Department and Public Works folks should have no lingering doubts about the need for road work before snow arrives, given Thursday’s public comments. Culverts, please. Let’s just do it. Find a grant later.

Good Signs

A very encouraging indication of what can be done, when need is appreciated, comes from the efforts to provide a means for Torrance County property owners to receive “flood risk evaluations” via a process that combines high and low tech procedures, and that directly engages the property owner. This procedure has been worked out by Bernalillo County’s Floodplain Administrator. Thank you.

Torrance County’s Emergency Management and Fire Marshall staff have committed to follow up on reports of an potential hazardous materials situation. Thank you.

BAER and Dog Head Fire Coordinated

Rehabilitation Group activity updates were welcome and helpful. Now we need a commitment to regular and frequent in-the-neighborhood (as well as online) updates and chances to ask questions and raise continuing or new issues.

In the meantime, we’ll keep stubbornly tracking the post Dog Head Current Situation.