Aug. 19, 2017
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Morning Word: Fire Season

June 19, 2017, 7:30 am

Fire in Jemez 80 percent contained
Despite grueling temperatures over the weekend, crews managed to get a fire line around 80 percent of the Cajete Fire in the Jemez Mountains. The families who had been told to leave their homes have now been told it's safe to return. The blaze was caused by an abandoned campfire, an inexplicably dumb thing that was still happening in nearby forest during the fire.

Meanwhile, back at Rio Rancho ...
A brush fire northwest of the city has burned through more than 2,000 acres of scrub since yesterday afternoon. That's according to Sandoval County firefighters. They aren't clear on how the fire started. It's still five miles away from the Northern Meadows subdivision.

Reimagining the spaceport
No one would blame you if you forgot about Spaceport America. The $220 million facility has been lightly used since it opened in 2011. There have been about 40 launches, but nothing close to the bustling space tourism business promised by eternally delayed Virgin Galactic. Now, the man running the spaceport says New Mexico may have to spend more money to repurpose the place as a hub for more industrial commercial spaceflight.

Chase, crash and hostage situation ends in Alamogordo
Investigators suspected Caleb Scroggins had something to do with a Sunday morning shooting in Alamogordo. When they spotted him and tried to pull over his car, he took off, causing a crash with another car, then holing up in a pistachio farm north of town. He took 14 hostages, New Mexico State Police say, and exchanged gunfire with officers before a tactical team arrested Scroggins and freed the people inside the farm building.

Drunken argument leads to fatal SF shooting
Santa Fe police have charged Chris Owens with murder after an early Saturday morning shooting. They say Tim and Lapearl Baca were out celebrating Lapearl's birthday all night. The couple met Owens at Skylight downtown, went to Buffalo Thunder briefly, then Tim Baca and Owens were arguing about a song on the way home. Owens threatened to shoot Baca—then did, police say, after the driver of the car pulled over. Tim Baca was the father of four children. 

Methane rule delayed
The federal government has delayed an Obama administration rule that required oil and gas producers to detect and repair methane leaks at drilling sites. It's a two-year delay and comes amid a flurry of environmental news highlighted at NM Political Report. The delay means New Mexico's methane hotspot will likely stick around.

Another scorcher
It's going to be hot, hot, hot this week. Santa Fe will stay relatively sane in the high 80s today, but then creep in to the 90s for most of the week. Albuquerque will come close to triple digits today. You have to respect this kind of heat, and the state has tips for how to keep cool and be safe.

Thanks for reading! The Word could swear "Take frequent, short naps at work" used to be on that heat-safety list.

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