As wildfire season heats up
PHOTO: In 2018, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich attended the Incident Command morning meeting to receive an update on the Ute Park Fire, June 5, 2018.
We all have a part to play in protecting the places we love from catastrophic wildfires. Right now, we are starting to experience an active wildfire season in New Mexico, with multiple fires burning in our state and in neighboring states. As we confront our usual fire risks during hot and dry weather conditions alongside unique challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be especially vigilant and limit any possible disastrous fires.
I encourage you to visit the Wildfire Preparedness & Prevention Resource Center on my website for prevention tips, best practices to protect homes and businesses, and an interactive map of active wildfire information from around the state. Before you go on any outdoor trips, please look up the current rules and guidelines, including fire bans and closures. In addition to wildfire season, we are also still in this middle of a pandemic, so I encourage everyone to practice responsible recreation when you go outside.
Throughout the next weeks and months ahead, it is absolutely critical for all of us to follow the following rules to prevent human caused wildfires:
Do not use fireworks of any kind;
Use caution and common sense before lighting any fire;
Understand that any fire you create could become a wildfire;
Never, ever leave any fire unattended;
Properly extinguish and discard smoking materials;
Be aware of your surroundings and careful when operating equipment including off road vehicles during periods of dry or hot weather;
Speak up and step in when you see someone in danger of starting a wildfire; and
Be prepared for any emergency by putting together a disaster kit and family evacuation plan.
Through my role on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I am also making sure the U.S. Forest Service is enacting proper protocols to protect the health and safety of wildland firefighters and surrounding communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I will continue to monitor this effort closely throughout this year's fire season.
I urge all of us in New Mexico to stay safe this summer. Join me in doing your part to prevent disastrous wildfires in our state.
United States Senator