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County Prepares for Wildfire Season Though Prevention

By Santa Fe County

The Santa Fe County Fire Department will mark National Wildfire Prevention month with public awareness and outreach. National Wildfire Prevention month is annually recognized through the month of May, dedicated to prevention and preparedness.

County Fire Chief Jackie Lindsey explained, “With wildfire season upon us in Santa Fe County, I call to action all our citizens. You can make a difference.” Chief Lindsey continued, “With the current drought and red flag warnings due to weather conditions, it is important to let the community know what they can do to prepare for and avoid fires. As many as 90% of wildfires in the United States each year are caused by people. Only 10% are caused by lightning and other factors. Some human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, or negligently discarding cigarettes. If we all do our part, we can make a big difference and help to protect our community.”

“Preparation is key when dealing with wildland fires,” stated Fire Marshal Jaome Blay. “One spark can lead to catastrophic damage, and that is what we want people to understand. In addition, taking few preventive measures like creating and maintaining a defensible space around buildings and structures, installing spark arresters in chimneys serving fireplaces and barbeques, and storing unprotected firewood and combustible materials at least 20 feet away from buildings could help increase the chances of your house surviving a wildfire.”

According to the National Drought Monitor, Santa Fe County is in the “exceptional drought” stage. Coupled with unknown future rainfalls, the County Fire Department wants to provide informational resources to residents educating them on wildland fire prevention and mitigation.

In an effort to provide residents and homeowners strategies for wildfire prevention, the Fire Department invites county residents and visitors to contact the Fire Prevention/Risk Reduction office for public speaking requests, fire prevention advice, and publication materials for all ages. Together we can help guide, plan, and prepare for the upcoming wildfire season.

For more information on wildland fire prevention, contact Fire Protection Specialist Jeff Folgate at 505-995-6517

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