ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Officials with the New Mexico State Forestry say they are already gearing up for the upcoming fire season.
With 70 percent of the state facing severe drought conditions, State Forestry says they are anticipating an aggressive fire season.
“We’ve had a lot of undergrowth, a lot of grass growth, a lot of all shrubs that we’re growing in the wild and then with the lack of precipitation this year, we are at a point where we are extremely dry,” explained Greg Hesch, NM State Forestry.
Hecsh says that growth like twigs, shrubs and grass are fuel for even the smallest of sparks. He says something like a dragging chain can easily create a fire.
What is extra concerning this year is the larger fuels, like logs, that have had enough time to dry up.
Hesch says they are expecting an early start to fire season. State Forestry is already getting their crews geared up.
This year, they’re training extra firefighters throughout the state to be ready when the calls start coming in.
“We’ve contacted the fire crews, the members of them, have them already doing their physical fitness testing, getting the equipment ready. It’s a full-time job just to prepare for the upcoming season,” Hesch said.
He also said we could be facing the worst fire season in a decade.
He is urging people to be extra vigilant any time they are outdoors and especially around campfires. He expects there will be plenty of fire restrictions in the coming months.
When it comes to precipitation in Albuquerque, we’re about an inch-and-a-half of where we should be in the last three months.