U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
ALBUQUERQUE ― Monday, U.S. Rep. and gubernatorial candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham released her plan to prevent and fight fires in New Mexico.
“As families throughout New Mexico prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, federal and state parks across our state are closed because of severe fire threats. The changing climate and ongoing drought mean that New Mexico is at an even greater risk to experience devastating fires this season. With nine fires currently burning our lands, it’s critical that we develop a strategy to control our wildfires and prevent future ones from starting,” Lujan Grisham said. “Under my plan, New Mexico will have a Fire Management Strategy that brings together local, state, federal, and tribal resources to protect New Mexico’s beautiful wildlands and communities.”
“Our state has already experienced severe loss because of fires ravaging our communities. My own community is currently managing three wildfires and I’ve seen firsthand the effect these fires have on our families,” Sen. Howie Morales said. “Ensuring that we have strong systems in place to address fires and work on preventing them is a key priority for Michelle as governor.”
As governor, Lujan Grisham said she will take the following six steps to fight and prevent fires:
1. Develop a cohesive Fire Management Strategy that focuses on suppressing fires, keeping forests and wildlands healthy, and establishing effective land management programs.
2. Create easy-to-use collaborative agreements to ensure that federal, state, tribal, and local governments are working together on fire mitigation and suppression, and protect local communities from crippling firefighting costs.
3. Assist and support local efforts and help communities develop Community Wildfire Protection and Adaptation Plans.
4. Dedicate New Mexico National Guard resources to protecting New Mexicans – not ripping apart families on the border.
5. Ensure New Mexico has enough trained firefighters, in the right locations, at the right times.
6. Develop building codes, legislation and partnerships that promote fire adaptation compliance and fire mitigation activities.
Read the full policy here.
The following community leaders from across New Mexico have given statements in support of the plan:
“As the mayor of a community recently hit hard by the Ute Fire, I know the importance of effective fire management. Our businesses lost revenue critical to their success and families were forced to evacuate their homes. Michelle’s plan will lay the groundwork communities need to prevent wildfires and protect families.” – Leo Martinez, Mayor of Cimarron
“Michelle’s plan demonstrates real leadership and a commitment to protecting our communities from the devastating effects of forest fires. During the height of the Ute Park Fire, Michelle visited our community and met with residents who had been evacuated from their homes. She takes these issues seriously and that attitude is reflected in her plan to ensure that state government is working as effectively as possible to prevent future fires and mitigate any damages that may take place.” – Richard Cordova, Mayor of Eagle’s Nest
“It’s more important than ever that our leaders understand the importance of developing a statewide strategy with an appropriate focus on prevention. Michelle’s plan, which emphasizes good forest management to prevent dangerous fires, demonstrates the focus and leadership New Mexico needs to keep our communities safe.” – Hugh Ley, Pecos Canyon Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department, Founding Member & Ex-Chief.