Public Invited To Fire Preparedness Workshop April 25

COMMUNITY News:

The public is cordially invited to attend a free Fire Preparedness Workshop 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

The workshop is at the Jemez Mountain Baptist Church, 6 Riverview Court in Jemez Springs: from La Cueva, at mile marker 26 on N.M. 4, turn at the junction with N.M. 126 and travel for one mile in the direction of Fenton Lake.   

This 10th annual event is sponsored by the La Cueva District of Sandoval County Fire Rescue, Jemez Mountain Baptist Church and Jemez Mountains Firewise Communities (JMFC.) 

Is your property adjacent to a wildland-urban interface? Communities and individuals who prepare for possible wildfire are those who endure best, if and when that disaster strikes. 

Church Pastor Eric Larson encourages you, “Don’t be scared. Come get prepared!” 

Persons knowledgeable in fire prevention and awareness will be on site to provide you with invaluable information on how best to protect what is most important: You, your family and your home! 

These experts will report on their preparations for the upcoming fire season and answer questions you may have on how best to prepare for it. The Fire Preparedness Workshop offers the following opportunities:  

  • Learn about Firewise landscaping and possible financial aid to develop same. 
  • Gain knowledge about community and government partnerships and how you can get involved. 
  • Get advice on how to be prepared for any mandatory evacuation that may be enacted.
  • Watch the operation of an aerial drone used to gather data for forest inventories. 
  • A free light lunch and snacks will be provided. 
  • Activities for children, with an emphasis on fire safety, will be supervised and directed. 

JMFC is a non-profit organization which is part of a broad-based coalition of private, commercial and government entities whose major focus is watershed improvement and sustainable forest health.  Fire and water flow freely across both private and public lands.  Wildfire especially knows no boundaries. While there is no absolute preventative measure against wildfire, public-private partnerships like these help: See https://fireadaptednetwork.org/does-wildfire-mitigation-work-16-examples-and-counting/.

The Nature Conservancy’s Rio Grande Water Fund has supported JMFC’s work and independent mitigation efforts on private land.  With help from this fund, JMFC is currently supervising a thinning project in Area 3 of the Jemez Corridor to reduce fire danger to the watershed that serves as a water supply to the community of Jemez Springs.  JMFC is also sponsoring a pilot project to inventory forest resources on private properties through use of data gained from aerial imaging.   This data may later be used for fire risk assessments, fuels treatments and fire management planning.  

A fire department was established at La Cueva in 1978. Currently, the District has over 40 volunteers, who respond from four fire stations located in La Cueva, Seven Springs, Thompson Ridge and Sierra los Piños.  Their response covers the largest geographic area of any volunteer fire district in the State of New Mexico, encompassing the southeastern portion of the Jemez Mountains.  This area of the Jemez Mountains was devastated by the El Cajete Fire in 2017 and the Las Conchas Fire in 2011, with 112 structures being lost in the latter, but no human lives being lost in either.