SANTA FE — The Department of Game and Fish (NMGF) encourages the public to be mindful of wildlife displaced by fires.
Like humans, wild animals also are fleeing wildfires burning around the state. Wildlife is incredibly resilient to fire, but need space to find new habitat while the fire is burning.
It is normal during wildfires to see wildlife in areas where they do not typically occur. There is no need to report these sightings to the Department. However, if wildlife appears to be injured, contact local conservation officers through the New Mexico State Police non-emergency number at 505.841.9256.
The Department recommends you do not feed, approach or handle wildlife.
Under stressful situations like those being experienced, wild animals can be even more unpredictable.
“Conservation officers across the state are working closely with local fire officials and the New Mexico State Police to ensure public safety during these horrific fires, while also responding to, and handling, wildlife calls. Conservation officers have received extensive training in handling wildlife to ensure public safety and safety for the animal as well,” Colonel Tim Cimbal said.
While full impacts on wildlife will not be known until after the fires are out, wildlife and fisheries biologists will continue to monitor species found in the fire areas. You can help wildlife by allowing them room to move to suitable habitat.
“We know that folks want to help in any way they can during this emergency, including helping animals that have been affected. The Department strongly encourages people not to feed and water wildlife,” Assistant Chief of Wildlife Elise Goldstein said. “It may seem like you are helping them, but this can encourage them to start relying on humans for these resources. If they do not find these resources in town, they tend to move to a more natural environment.”
For the most up-to-date information on fire in New Mexico, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) has established a Joint Information Task Force (JIC) in coordination with multiple state agencies. They have launched an updated wildfire page on the DHSEM webpage. This webpage is the most reputable, up-to-date site for anything related to wildfires in New Mexico. DHSEM and the JIC also have established a Facebook account to share information.