Since 1950 Smokey Bear, a mascot of the US Forest Service, has been warning people of the danger of forest fires.
As I write this the television news is reporting about a grass fire along Interstate Highway 40 in Torrance County, which is to the east of Valencia County. The fire is reportedly over a mile long, but it seems that it is about under control now, as Torrance and Santa Fe county fire units are on the scene.
Grass fires, on a dry windy day like today race wildly across the prairie and can consume thousands of acres in just a couple of hours, destroying all wild life, homes and buildings in their path.
Note the grass around the Smokey Bear sign; it is just waiting for some careless driver to throw a cigarette butt out the car window. The dry grass is extremely flammable and everything along this stretch of NM highway 314 will go up in smoke, So, be careful out there. And as Smokey Bear has said so often, "Only you can prevent forest fires."