Silver City, NM, April 17, 2013- -With rainfall and snowpack in deficit quantities and drought conditions expected to persist indefinitely throughout the southwest United States, property owners are strongly encouraged to spend early springtime cleaning gutters, trimming low branches and mowing down tall grasses in anticipation of another active wildfire season.
The drought is severe and expected to persist, increasing the potential for fire in the higher elevation. Low precipitation totals for the 2012 monsoon season accounts for a decreased availability for continuous fine fuels, fuels that dry out quickly and are readily ignited. The continued drought will foster ‘never before seen’ fire behavior with rapid drying in heavy fuels after it rains, increasing fire potential area-wide.
“Our seasonal predictions indicate we may see fire behavior that we have yet to experience before,” reports Gabe Holguin, Fire Staff Officer for the Gila National Forest, “Keeping life and property safe will be a challenge for the fire community.” Getting your property prepared for the possibility of a wildfire not only decreases the chances of home loss, it also creates a safer environment for fire personnel to work in and around. Getting yourself prepared for a wildfire event can mean a safe and efficient evacuation and a positive plan of action to follow. Improve your family and property survival by learning techniques to reduce ignition sources around your residence as well as a plan for escape. Visit www.fireadapted.org or www.wildlandfireRSG.org for tips on decreasing your risk and increasing your safety in the event of a wildfire.
For additional information or a wildfire property assessment, please contact Ellen Brown, Fire Prevention Specialist, Gila National Forest, at 388-8262 or 388-8201.