NM Streamlines Command Of Military Forces At Fires

May 15, 2013

Gov. Susana Martinez says New Mexico National Guard senior officers can serve as commanders of active duty military forces assigned to help with wildfires and other emergencies in the state.

The governor said Wednesday the agreement with the Defense Department should help streamline emergency response efforts. Her announcement came as New Mexico braces for a potentially difficult wildfire season because of prolonged drought conditions.

Martinez said there are four specially trained National Guard commanders who will have the authority to dispatch active duty military personnel that are helping fight fires or responding to flooding and other emergencies.

The governor initially would make the request to the Pentagon to seek help of federal military forces.

A year ago, the Whitewater-Baldy Fire started and became the largest in New Mexico's recorded history.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.