ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than 470 acres of the bosque is about to go under a major clean up, to help prevent any future fires from burning it to the ground. It’s been a rough year for fires across the state and that includes the bosque.
The City of Albuquerque is working to prevent another blaze in its beloved bosque with a new fire mitigation project. “This particular treatment will focus on removing a lot of the invasive species here, as well as trying to thin out some of the understory under large canopy trees,” said the superintendent of the city’s open space department, Colleen McRoberts.
The department is working to get funding to clear fire hazards in the busiest part of the bosque between Central and Bridge. McRoberts says that most of the fires in the bosque are manmade.
“I think maybe people being careless, or, you know, setting up illegal camps, there’s no camping allowed in the Bosque,” she says.
Invasive species and dead plants aren’t helping either. The city is asking for $900,000 to complete the project. The city says that it’s going to take more than bulldozers and heavy machinery. They are planning on hiring youth groups like the Ancestral Lands Conservation corps and the rocky mountain youth corps to help in more ways than one.
“This is also a good economic boost in our community because we are employing youth crews, who will get great hands-on experience and training. They’ll work closely even with our Albuquerque Fire Department and other experts and felling trees,” says McRoberts.
The project is still expecting funding approval from the city council as well as FEMA. The city says they could start as soon as the end of the month. The project is expected to be completed by the spring of next year.