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More effective wildfire response

Dear Friend,

Two years ago, I worked to secure more than $15 million to upgrade the Cibola National Forest Air Tanker Base to help firefighters battle wildfires and keep New Mexicans safe. 

Those upgrades have now been completed – a major milestone that will make it possible to support and refuel Very Large Air Tanker planes that can drop large volumes of fire retardant on blazes.


PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich visits the Cibola National Forest Air Tanker Base in Albuquerque to announce a $15.5 million investment he secured for major upgrades that will support heavier Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) aircraft to fight wildfires in New Mexico, May 31, 2022.

These heavy aircraft are essential to firefighters battling large wildfires. Now that these planes can refuel and take off from the Cibola Air Tanker Base, they can more quickly and effectively support firefighting efforts across our state.

This is a big win, even as I know that we still have a long way to go to do right by the New Mexico families whose lives were upended by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire. As our communities continue to rebuild, I will keep working to deliver for every person impacted by that fire and the floods that followed.

And I will never stop fighting to deliver the resources New Mexico needs to respond to wildfires and restore the health and resilience of our forests and watersheds.


United States Senator