Mapping Wildfires & Upending the West’s Water Narratives | 5.20.22

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Using public data from the U.S. Forest Service, Steve Bassett, Director of Planning and Spatial Analysis with The Nature Conservancy, has been creating perimeter maps each morning, showing the progression of the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire in northern New Mexico. “With the skills that I have and the desperation I was feeling, I went out and grabbed that data and did something with it to get some more information out and into the public hands,” he says. In conversation with correspondent Laura Paskus, he also talks about what he is learning along the way.

Andrew Curley is a professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Geography, Development & Environment. His research focuses on the “everyday incorporation of Indigenous nations into colonial economies” including fossil fuel development in the U.S. Southwest and creation of the Central Arizona Project off the Colorado River. In conversation with correspondent Laura Paskus, he talks about how the Colorado River’s crisis far predates climate change and challenges the narrative of climate apocalypse.

The Line Opinion panel discusses the now record-setting wildfire burning near Las Vegas. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham wants the federal government to cover all the costs for all our fires, but is that a realistic request? And, the new restrictions at National Forests around the state.


Laura Paskus


Steve Bassett, Dir. Planning and Spatial Analysis with The Nature Conservancy

Andrew Curley, University of Arizona, School of Geography, Development & Environment

Line Opinion Panelists:

Merritt Allen, Vox Optima public relations

Laura Sanchez, attorney

Dan Boyd, capitol bureau chief, Albuquerque Journal

For More Information:

The Nature Conservancy – New Mexico

Steve Bassett - Twitter

Contested Water Settlements Inflamed the Navajo Nation’s Health Crisis – High Country News

Infrastructures as colonial beachheads: The Central Arizona Project and the taking of Navajo resources – Andrew Curley

“Our Winters’ Rights”: Challenging Colonial Water Laws – Andrew Curley

Calf Canyon Hermit’s Peak Fire Now Largest in NM History - Albuquerque Journal

Three NM National Forests Close Thursday Due To Extreme Fire Danger - KOAT

San Miguel Temporarily Bans Fireworks – Las Vegas Optic

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