Local News
5:17 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Fire Season Off to a Better Start

Last year was one of the worst fire seasons in state history.  But this spring has been somewhat wetter and less windy…and that should make for less dangerous conditions according to State Forester Tony Delfin.

He says at this point last year 300,000 acres had already burned on state and private land.  This year the total is just 77,000 acres.  Delfin credits, in part, a better informed public for the decrease in fires, but warns there’s another fire-starter to be aware of.

"As we move into the summer months, the chance for lightning-caused fires will increase.  So the more we do to prevent human-caused fires, the safer we'll be," he says.  "I strongly urge vacationers around New Mexico to be prepared for wildfire and do their part to keep wildfires from starting."

But, in a message directed primarily at the media, Veronica Valencia with the State Tourism Department, asked New Mexicans to make sure that message doesn't get overblown.

"Sensationalized news reporting can set the tone that New Mexico is closed for business, and that has a huge impact on the tourism industry."

Information about current wildfires is available here.