As firefighters battle the Cerro Pelado Fire to keep the Los Alamos and White Rock communities safe, County officials remind citizens they can implement some mitigation measures themselves.
To protect homes and neighborhoods, residents can clear dry vegetation from their homes and create a defensible space. To support this effort, next week (May 16-20) the Los Alamos County Environmental Services will provide a special yard trimming roll cart collection, in addition to its regularly scheduled trash and recycling collection.
This year, the fire season arrived early in New Mexico. Considering the National Weather Service predicts more dry weather, officials indicate it is not too late to protect one’s property by implementing various defensible space measures.
Recommended measures include:
- Clear brush and vegetation away from the home. Ensure that nothing ignitable is in contact with the structure, especially overhanging tree branches or vines against walls.
- Clean roof and gutters, removing leaves and pine needles. Also clean leaves and trash from under any structures.
- Rake up and dispose of all pine needles, leaves and dead grasses in and around the yard.
- Keep woodpiles away from buildings. These can ignite and catch adjacent objects on fire.
- Place 1/2-inch mesh screening around decks, porches, vents and over the chimney to prevent smoldering embers from entering.
- Create a buffer zone of defensible space around your home in which vegetation has been thinned. Prune trees near the ground to prevent ground fires from climbing into tree crowns.
Next week the Environmental Services Department will pick up yard waste. On their typical trash collection day, residents are advised to place yard trimming carts at the curb in addition to their trash and recycling roll carts.
Residents can even bring excess yard trimmings, branches, and pine needles to the Eco Station during regular business hours. Residents with curbside roll cart service may use their allocated 12 free loads.
For more information on wildfire preparedness visit www.firewise.org.
For questions related to the additional yard waste pick up, residents can contact the Eco Station at 505.662.8163 or email SolidWaste@lacnm.us.