Governor Directs National Guard To Take Extra Measures To Secure Evacuated Communities, Prepare For Flooding

Gov. Susana Martinez

STATE News:

TIJERAS – Gov. Susana Martinez announced Saturday that she has directed the New Mexico National Guard to take extra measures to secure evacuated communities and prepare for flooding.

In response, the National Guard will deploy additional guardsmen to patrol communities that have been evacuated to stop any threats of looting. The guardsmen also will begin assisting with the placement of sandbags and other flood controls in affected areas to help stop potential flood damage.

“As our coordinated response to the Dog Head Fire moves forward around the clock, the health and safety of New Mexicans continues to be our top priority,” Martinez said. “I’ve ordered the New Mexico National Guard to expand their role in patrolling affected communities to protect homes and provide security in areas where residents have had to evacuate. Guardsmen will also be assisting in the efforts to stop any flooding that may occur.”

In the aftermath of devastating wildfires such as the Dog Head Fire, affected areas can often be susceptible to flooding, which can be difficult to control and cause further damage.

The governor continues to receive regular briefings on the coordinated response to the Dog Head Fire from state, local, and federal officials. She joined the New Mexico National Guard Thursday for a flyover of the affected areas to survey the damage. The Governor also has been on the ground in affected communities every day since Wednesday, including two public meetings in Estancia and Tijeras.

As part of the continuing coordinated response to the Dog Head Fire, Martinez has activated the New Mexico Emergency Operations Center, and declared a state of emergency to enable counties to order and pay for additional resources needed to help with this emergency. State agencies such as the New Mexico National Guard, New Mexico State Police, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, New Mexico State Forestry, and others are assisting with the response to the fire. 

Governor Martinez also recently announced that the state has secured a federal grant that will cover 75 percent of the cost of suppressing the fire.

The Dog Head Fire is affecting areas of Bernalillo and Torrance Counties, and has burned more than 17,000 acres since it was first reported June 14, and it has destroyed more than 20 residences so far. More than 700 local, state, and federal personnel — including those from Arizona, North and South Dakota, and Colorado — are involved in the coordinated response to the fire.

“As our dedicated National Guard personnel, along with the rest of our coordinated response team, continue to do all they can to protect New Mexicans, I want to yet again remind residents not to take unnecessary risks – property can be replaced, but lives cannot,” Martinez said.

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