NM Experiencing Increase In Wildfires

KRWG News – ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRWG) State and federal officials say there's been a substantial increase in wildfires this year.

Gov. Susana Martinez has declared this week as "wildfire awareness week."

The state Forestry Division, federal Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs issued a statement on Monday saying the fire potential is higher than last year because of dry, windy spring weather and a mild winter across the southern two-thirds of New Mexico.

There have been 199 wildfires so far this year in New Mexico, burning about 112,000 acres. That's up from 60 fires during the same time last year that burned 11,000 acres.

Officials say people should clear dead grass and brush away from their homes to help in defending against wildfires.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. KRWG