KUNM

wildfires

Laura Paskus/KUNM

New Mexicans have needed help after wildfires and floods in recent years . FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has done its part: sending money to the state of New Mexico. But the state has not released tens of millions of dollars for contractors who did disaster recovery work.

Kari Greer / US Forest Service Gila National Forest

KUNM Call In Show 4/21 8a: You probably noticed that this February and March were much warmer and drier than normal. In fact, this year New Mexico got only 12 percent of the rainfall it usually gets in March. The unusually warm weather prompted mountain snow to melt faster and earlier than usual, while winds whipped up wild fires, stripping land that then becomes vulnerable to flooding.

Kari Greer / US Forest Service Gila National Forest

New Mexico’s 2014 wildfire season seems to have fizzled out, but the danger is not entirely behind us. New Mexico State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said favorable weather combined with a public awareness of fire prevention practices has reduced the number of fires this year. “I don’t want to say that we are out of the woods yet,” he cautioned. “ We have far too much vegetation in our forests,” Ware said. “We need folks to not lose the mentality that given the right weather conditions and the...

Drought Won't Stop Fireworks In Dry Western States

Jul 3, 2014
Billy Wilson Photography via Flickr

Arizona's largest city has gone months without any measurable rain, and neighboring New Mexico is in the midst of four years of severe drought. But you'll still see and hear fireworks sparkle and pop this Fourth of July, despite the dangerously high threat of wildfires. While some places in the West ban fireworks or greatly limit what you can light up, other states are going in the opposite direction. Arizona loosened its restrictions this year and is now allowing residents of the two most...

Favorable Weather May Slow Wildfire

Jun 30, 2014
Rita Daniels

UPDATE 7/2 11:30a: The Associated Press reports a wildfire burning in northern New Mexico's Jemez Mountains continues to expand but officials say expected favorable weather may help. Officials said Wednesday morning says the lightning-sparked Diego Fire has burned more than five square miles, an increase of about 400 acres since Tuesday. However, the fire remained zero percent contained. Still, some residents say they felt isolated and uninformed about the fire's dangers. And ranchers who...

A New Mexico wildfire that destroyed 242 homes and businesses is now 95 percent contained as crews finish mopping up around the fires perimeter. Crews demobilized some equipment Friday as they restored containment lines around the 69-square-mile Little Bear fire to a more natural state. Firefighters were also able to take advantage of rain on the blazes southern end. The lightning-caused fire is burning near Ruidoso and started June 4. Businesses in Ruidoso are open despite some road closures...

'War room' type effort places firefighting assets

Jun 29, 2012

From sites on the fringes of wildfires burning around the West, incident commanders spend nearly every waking hour huddled around maps, looking at computer screens or glued to the radio, trying to plot their next move. Their decisions come after pouring over intelligence thats flooding in from crew leaders, weather forecasters and fuels analysts. Elsewhere, teams of specialists smooth out the logistics of shuffling firefighters and equipment around the country. Tom Harbour is the director of...