Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The 23rd Annual Silver City Blues Festival entertained thousands of people over the Memorial Day weekend in Gough Park. This year’s event, organized by the Mimbres Regional Arts Council, featured nine artists, including local talents Brandon Perrault, and C.W. Ayon, as well as entertainers like the Ghost Town Blues Band from Memphis and The Peterson Brothers from Austin, Texas. Street vendors offered items for all ages and 12 Street was lined with a variety of food booths offering many choices to the public. In addition to the entertainment under the gazebo, guests could take a ride on a miniature train, watch a demonstration of steamroller printing, and learn how to make clay pots. This year’s event proved once again that the festival is a valued part of the community.
The Deming Intermediate School, built in 1942 will be demolished this summer and replaced by the new Deming Intermediate School located at the corner of Hermanas Grade and Pear Street on Deming’s west side. The new location will serve up to 470 6th grade students and consist of 64,000 square feet with options for updated educational tools for both teachers and students. The voters of Luna County approved a school bond totaling $27 million to build the new Intermediate School and a new high school that is currently under construction to be completed in August. Deming Intermediate School served as a High School through 1957, and later was utilized as a junior high for grades seven through nine until 1972.
The Western New Mexico Police Academy is now accepting applications in order for applicants to complete processing and attend the required Pre-Academy Fitness and Testing class in the fall. Students should submit their applications as soon as possible before July 31st to ensure prompt admission. To apply for the Police Academy, students should visit behavioral.wnmu.edu and click on the Police Academy link.
Regarding the Buzzard Fire located Northeast of Eagle Peak Lookout in Gila National Forest in Reserve, as of this morning, the fire is 34% contained and encompasses 20,300 acres. The fire became very active yesterday along the southern edge with several runs up ridges and individual tree torching. High temperatures and low humidity with gusty afternoon winds are anticipated the rest of the week, which will result in critical fire conditions. There is a total of 490 personnel involved at this time.
Continued high temperatures and spring winds are increasing fire danger on the Gila National Forest. Fire crews and forest visitors have been reporting an increase in abandoned campfires in and around the forest. A fire danger rating of VERY HIGH means that fires start easily from all causes and small fuels (such as grasses and needles) will ignite rapidly and immediately after ignition spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. Small fires can quickly become large fires and exhibit extreme fire intensity such as long-distance spotting. These fires can be difficult to control and will often become much larger and longer-lasting fires.
Fire managers consider several factors when elevating the fire danger level. Data from Remote Weather Stations (RAWS) located across the forest are aggregated together, producing the Energy Release Component (ERC). As live fuels cure and dead fuels dry, the ERC will increase and can be described as a build-up index. Each daily calculation considers the past 7 days in calculating the new number. Fire managers and planners have found that the ERC can be used as a decision tool to prepare for an approaching fire season. This data is evaluated in addition to the number of human-caused fires, red flag and critical fire days.
Please be vigilant of the high winds and rising temperatures and avoid using anything with an open flame or a spark. If mowing grass down, use a string-style trimmer rather than a lawn mower as the blades can strike rock and produce a spark. Make sure that your chain saw has a spark arrestor, that your trailer chains are not dragging and that all cigarettes are extinguished in an ashtray. #OneLessSpark #OneLess Fire
Please report fires and abandoned campfires to the Silver City Interagency Dispatch at 1-800-538-1644. For information on the Gila National Forest, check out the website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila or join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GilaNForest/ or follow on Twitter @GilaNForest.