ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - The fire season has started in the bosque. There have alreadybeen two fires in 2010 and with the windy season in full swirl,police and firefighters are removing squatters.
"I said 'this is my spot'" said Robert King, known as "Pappy."He has taken bits and pieces from the dump to make his home in thebosque. He has lived in this tucked-away spot for more than fouryears.
"I just don't want to be bothered and [be] by myself," saidPappy.
Albuquerque police and firefighters are now combing every inchof the bosque, kicking out Pappy and other squatters, hoping toprevent fires.
"For the past several years, a lot of our previous catastrophicfires have been human-caused," said Jeremiah Hansen.
Pappy has a stove and a fire pit, which are not legal in thebosque. He even admitted to starting a fire.
"Next thing I know, my friend said 'Pappy, your house is onfire' and I said 'No way,'" said Pappy.
Firefighters said the fire danger makes it too risky for peopleto live in the bosque. APD said the city literally cannot affordany fires.
Pappy has five days to move. He will not have to go italone.
APD's homeless outreach program talks to squatters aboutservices available to them. They helped Pappy contact his son andnow he will be moving in with him.
Police also said some bosque squatters have committed propertycrimes. Others have caused problems for people using the woodlandfor recreation. Pappy's neighbor - who is also being kicked out -is being investigated for shooting a gun in the bosque.
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