Can’t say my thoughts eased with the Forest Service nightly briefing Sunday on the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak fire.

I hope we do not have to remember this as the fire that burned from Pecos to Taos.

The 40-day-old fire is near 300,000 acres and stretches 45 miles south to north through the Sangre de Cristo mountains, It might soon be declared the largest in the state’s history.

East winds expected tonight and I’m worried about pushes to the southwest toward the Pecos canyon and to the northwest into Taos County. Evacuations warnings for Upper and Lower Colonias and a couple of other areas near Pecos issued Sunday afternoon. Here is the full fire report for May 15:

An army of nearly 2,000 people is fighting this beast but the country is steep and dry and full of little ranches and homesteads stemming from Hispanic settlement of the mountains in the 18th Century.

There is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms over the mountains tomorrow but even they have firefighters worrying about outflow winds.

Things seem a little calmer on the smaller Cerro Pelado fire in the Jemez mountains, which started later than the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak fire in the Sangre de Cristo. Here is the May 15 report:

KTVU FOX2 📸: IG fitzsimonsphotograph. New Mexico wildfire escape. Once upon a time, high school days, I washed dishes in the white and gray-blue restaurant over the water in the forefront — then the Glad Hand (and red) and now Scomas — and lived with my mother and two brothers in one of then-rundown Victorians with darker roofs across the street, in between the Glad Hand and the Trident/Ondine restaurants on the piers across the street. Thank you Al Engel and Bob Hanlon for employing me and Wiley Bowens for being my friend. Glad to say that I walked and rode my bike over the bridge and sailed under it in several boats. My previous home had been at the end of Tano Road, outside of Santa Fe, in New Mexico, but this wasn’t a bad place to land. Sausalito and Bridgeway Boulevard were a little more Bohemian in the early 1960s. But my heroes then were Jack London and the older guys in short sleeve shirts who magically parked cars at the Kingston Trio-owned Trident. I also kept a sea bag packed in case some large sailing vessel cruised by, needing crew for a voyage across the Pacific.
Smoke plume rising Friday afternoon, May 13, from the Hermit’s Peak/Canyon Fire in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Photographed from Placitas over the Cuchilla de San Francisco. I could see several plumes rising south to north along 40 miles or so of the range. The Forest Service briefing Friday evening suggested this plume rose from the Elk Mountain area, west of Las Vegas. Go to Facebook and Santa Fe National Forest and #hermitspeakfire for much more photography and video.
Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire map, May 13. Official briefings on Facebook and Twitter.
Cerro Pelado fire, Jemez Mountains, from Placitas, May 13.
Cerro Pelado fire map, May 13. Official briefings on Facebook and Twitter.

We were lucky to have them.

Eleanor, Far (John L. Bjelke), Grandmother (Frances), Nancy, Jack and Barbara. Don’t know when (my mother, Nancy, in Grandmother’s lap, was born in 1930) but surely this is the Bjelke home at 128 S. Main Street, Granville, Ohio.

Back of the photo says: Eleanor, John, Nancy, Frances, Winifred, Jack and Effie Dean Rhodes Heap. Don’t know where Barbara was — maybe home in Colorado.
This is Hadlock, Washington. Eleanor, Barbara, Uncle David and Nancy. I suspect Uncle Bob took the photo.

And big adventures begin, as noted in this item from the Granville Times in May 1948.

Best wishes this Mothers’ Day to all Bjelkes, Wheelers, Garretts, Robertsons and Harpers.