NM forest asks everyone to prevent wildfires

KRWG News – SILVER CITY, N.M. (krwg) Gila National Forest officials say dry and windy conditions around New Mexico mean everyone should practice aggressive fire prevention until the summer rains.

At the start of March, the U.S. Drought Monitor indicated severe drought across the southern third of New Mexico and all of southeastern New Mexico. Moderate drought exists across most of southern and eastern New Mexico.

Spring winds can push flames along and can pick up burning embers and sparks and start spot fires.

Blowing winds also can dry up grasses and other fuels.

Forest officials are asking people to make sure campfires are out, to be careful with gas lanterns, barbecues and gas stoves and not to toss out lit cigarettes.

They're also asking homeowners to create defensible space around their property.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. krwg