- New Mexico Recognizes Wildfire Awareness Week
ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez joined with firefighters Thursday to talk about the dangers of wildfires and urged New Mexicans to prepare for the upcoming season.
The Governor has proclaimed March 29 through April 4 as Wildfire Awareness Week.
“As we continue to face serious drought, it is more important than ever that we work together to prevent fires,” Martinez said. “Through continued education, prevention and awareness, we can make a difference together to save lives, property and valuable natural resources throughout New Mexico.”
While the 2014 season saw 892 wildfires burn more than 24,000 acres on federal, state, and private lands, the dedication of New Mexico’s firefighters, combined with more coordinated community preparation and more favorable weather conditions, helped to ensure the 2014 fire season was not as destructive as years past.
Martinez and inter-agency firefighting partners are again stressing the need for continued vigilance against wildfires. So far in 2015, New Mexico has already experienced more than 150 wildfires that have burned more than 9,900 acres on state and privately owned lands.
The Governor also announced that, for the third year in a row, the New Mexico Returning Heroes Program, which hires and trains military veterans as wild-land firefighters, will continue to help protect communities against wildfire. After a successful pilot period, Martinez made this program permanent last year.
Military veteran fire crews serve not only New Mexico, but also wildfires across the country. The program is a collaborative effort between New Mexico State Forestry, the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
Additionally, New Mexico State Forestry Division has implemented numerous watershed restoration and forest thinning projects to protect communities due to the $8.5 million approved by Governor Martinez in 2014.
For more information on active wildfires, wildfire prevention tips and programs, and how to create defensible space to protect lives and property, log onto: www.nmfireinfo.com, www.inciweb.nwcg.gov, or www.firewise.org.
For more information on preparing your homes and families, visit the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management’s Family Preparedness Guide: http://goo.gl/Zuams.