Thumbs - Our high country lowdown on the news

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By Optic Editorial Board

THUMBS UP! ADDED SECURITY. The city of Las Vegas is closing a deal with Game and Fish to buy water to help get it through the current drought. The city’s getting about 125 acre feet of water for about $25,000 — adding 11 days to the 72 days worth of storage the city already has.

It appears to be a good deal for the city. It still needs the approval from the State Engineer, the Storrie Lake Water Users Association and the City Council, so we hope it hits no roadblock in the process.

THUMBS UP! PROMISING COMMAND TEAM. Four Las Vegas police veterans have been promoted to the rank of commander, solidifying Christian Montaño’s command structure three months after being sworn in as chief. Mack Allingham, Robert Gutierrez, Kenneth Jenkins and Juan Montaño each will oversee a division within the city police department.

These are critical positions — for the chief, they can either make him look very good, or very bad. We wish them all success.

THUMBS DOWN! SMOKE AND FIRE. New Mexico seems to be burning up these days, not from hot weather but from wildfires. Firefighters have been battling more than 30 wildfires around the state since last weekend. One fire, in and near the Gila Wilderness down south, has charred 95 square miles since it started on April 28. In all, 455 fires have burned nearly 700 square miles since the start of this super-dry year. Most of the fire, according to officials, have been started by humans.

So far, and knock on wood, we’ve been fortunate in Las Vegas, though we’re not immune to the situation. A smoky haze enveloped the Meadow City earlier this week, from fires several miles away.

Remember, we’re in a burn ban. The least little bit of carelessness can cause great harm to land, property and people.

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“I’m not worried about this year, I’m worried about future years.”
— Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz, on the city’s water situation.