In April of last year, New Mexico saw its largest and most damaging wildfire in state history. The Calf Canyon Fire and Hermit’s Peak fire burned across San Miguel, Mora, and Taos Counties, destroying over 341,000 acres and burning more than 900 structures, nearly 400 of which were homes.
Nationally, the forest fire trend continues to increase in size and frequency, and it is not expected to slow anytime soon, due in-large-part to the changing climate.
In response, Carson National Forest is working to encourage residents to prepare for wildfires year-round through the ‘Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round’ campaign.
This month, officials are encouraging residents to clear the brush and dead vegetation around their homes and property. Officials say dead brush and vegetation in close proximity to homes can create dangerous situations, potentially leading a fire directly to your property.
Fire fuels are substances which ignite and spread quickly. Some of those fuels naturally present in northern New Mexico include pine needles, leaves, and dead grass. Cleaning up and removing these items away from your property will help mitigate fire risk.
Removing dead and dry vegetation trapped against your property, under your deck or porch, and against your fences can provide a gap in vegetation, potentially protecting your home and property from quick-moving fires.
The nearest disposal site in northern Taos County is located at the Taos County Solid Waste site in Cerro. Information about this site is located below.
Burning debris is a common practice used to clear old and dry vegetation. If this is your preference, it’s important to follow all local burn ordinances, while checking local weather conditions on the National Weather Service account online or via local news reports. Red flag weather days are not recommended for burning due to forecasted windy conditions, dry air, and low precipitation. These conditions pose a high likelihood for a fire to grow out of control, easily.
Additional tips to increase your home’s safety from wildfires include storing firewood, gas cans, lawn mowers, cardboard, and other combustible materials at least five feet away from structures. If a fire is traveling quickly, keeping these items away from your home will reduce the likelihood of these combustible materials spreading the fire directly to your home and property.
When looking at longer term projects, cleaning bosques and replacing grasslands with gravel and river rock also prove to be effective mitigation efforts to protect your home.
DUMP SITE INFORMATION:
To get updated hours and pricing, call (575) 737-6337
Directions: From the intersection of State Road 522 and State Road 378 proceed west approximately three miles on State Road 378 to the intersection of County Road B-038. Proceed 3/4 miles west to the site on the south side of the road.