Congressman Steve Pearce has accepted an invitation to attend a public rally being hosted by the Ruidoso/Lincoln County Association of Realtors to protest land management policies of the U.S. Forest Service. The rally will be held on Saturday, June 30, 2 p.m. at Wingfield Park in Ruidoso.
Dave Warnack, district ranger for the Smokey Bear Ranger District, told the Ruidoso News that firefighters were ready at the beginning of the blaze: "By the morning of (June 8), when this thing blew up, we had completed a preliminary hand-line around (the fire). Crews were beginning to mop-up the edges, working their way towards the center of the fire with shovels and backpack pumps, each containing five gallons of water" he said. Warnack told the newspaper that heavy winds pushed the blaze out of control when crews were on site.
Congressman Pearce released the following statement on his decision to attend the Saturday protest:
“I will continue to stand with the community as it seeks a common sense approach to managing our forests. For decades, Washington has mismanaged our federal public lands and our forests are no exception. The best ideas and solutions are going to come from the people on the ground near the forests, not from Washington politicians and bureaucrats. Washington has had more than enough time and opportunity to get it done right.
“Equally troubling, we are seeing a growing trend by the Forest Service not to immediately and aggressively put out initial fires, costing our community’s hundreds of homes and putting our personal safety at risk. Americans need to take a hard look at the on-going management policies in place by the Forest Service and the upcoming rally in Ruidoso will give the people who live in areas affected by these policies an opportunity to express their concern.
“Finally, I would again like to recognize and thank the fire fighters who are working to keep our communities safe from fires across New Mexico”.