Federal Grant To Prevent Fires

New Mexico – The New Mexico Forestry Division will use $15 million in federal stimulus funds to help prevent catastrophic wildfires and improve forest and watershed conditions on state, private and tribal lands.

State Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Secretary Jon Goldstein says the projects will help protect New Mexico residents in case of a wildfire.

He says such projects also will increase forest health and gather information to target problem areas in the future.

The money will help continue and expand projects statewide and help smaller communities establish their own programs.

Some $4.5 million of the money will go to the statewide hazardous fuels treatment program for projects to protect communities or other areas that are at risk of catastrophic wildfire.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.