Wildfire Defensible

Press Release issued 3/30/2020 from the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD): EMNRD Forestry Division & Interagency Partners Recognize Wildfire Awareness Week; Commitment to Readiness During COVID-19 Pandemic

The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD’s) Forestry Division (State Forestry) and interagency partners with the Southwest Coordination Center are recognizing March 29 through April 4, 2020 as Wildfire Awareness Week in New Mexico. Protocols are being implemented to ensure the highest degree of readiness and safety for firefighters and the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Read more ...)

The Cerro Grande Fire of 2000, the Las Conchas Fire of 2011 and the El Caliente in Jemez NM in June of 2017 were wake-up calls to County residents on the importance of being prepared for wildfires. New Mexico is currently in a drought cycle that increases the danger of wildfires. For a checklist of wildfire preparedness and prevention steps you can take, click here: FEMA

Here are some things you can do to make your home defensible:

  • Install fire-retardant siding and roofing on your home. The expense is worthwhile.
  • Clear brush and vegetation away from your home. Ensure that nothing ignitable is in contact with the structure, especially overhanging tree branches or vines against walls.
  • Clean your 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 your yard.
  • Keep woodpiles away from the building. 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, and have your chimney cleaned regularly.
  • Consider installing double-paned windows and heavy solid doors for added fire resistance.
  • During the fire season, keep flammable items like curtains and furniture away from windows where they may be ignited by heat radiating through the glass.
  • 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.

For more information on wildfire preparedness: contact the Los Alamos Fire Department (505-662-8301) or the local U.S. Forest Service office (667-5120). You can also visit www.firewise.org. To read a summary of lessons learned from the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000, click the link in the right sidebar or contact the County Office of Emergency Management at 505-662-8283.

Contact Information

Emergency Management
Beverley Simpson

Links and Documents