Santa Fe, N.M. – On June 4, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) New Mexico handed off the keys for two fire engines to the Wild Horse Fire Department and the Animas Fire Department, both key cooperators in wildfire response. The transfers took place at the BLM Socorro Field Office and the Las Cruces District Office.   

The transfers were made possible by the BLM’s Rural Fire Readiness (RFR) program, which was developed to provide firefighting equipment to local cooperators at no cost. These two fire departments were strategically selected from among a group of strong partners throughout New Mexico to assist the BLM in wildfire response in remote areas.  

“We want to thank the Wild Horse and Animas Fire Departments for their long-term contributions to wildland firefighting and strong partnership with the BLM. We are pleased be able to assist them in those efforts by conveying these excess engines to their fire departments,” said BLM State Fire Management Officer Craig Goodell. “It is these essential partnerships that help provide for a safe, efficient and effective wildfire response across the State of New Mexico.” 

The RFR program provides equipment that is no longer needed by the BLM to wildland fire partners that meet eligibility requirements. These requirements include serving a rural community or area and having wildland fire protection responsibilities, participating in a cooperative fire protection agreement with the BLM, being near BLM-administered lands and responding in support of the BLM when available and needed.   

Community partnerships between the BLM and local fire departments are crucial to wildfire response on private, state and Federal lands. Local, volunteer and rural fire departments often operate in remote areas, responding to fire starts in some cases hours before BLM ground crews could arrive. 

The engines were part of BLM New Mexico’s wildland fire management program and were used for several years in the Taos Field Office and the Las Cruces District. For more information on the RFR program, please visit www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/rural-fire-readiness-program or contact your local BLM office. 

  

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