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Americans celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July by participating in popular Independence Day traditions, including fireworks, parades, picnics, barbecues, and recreating on national forests and other public lands. While these pastimes usually make happy memories, if handled irresponsibly, they can put our public lands and communities at risk from human-ignited wildfires – the leading cause of wildfire across New Mexico.
While recent moisture has decreased fire danger, most of New Mexico is still in a long-term drought, and we must all continue using extreme caution. The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) Forestry Division, in cooperation with partners, is asking residents and visitors to please celebrate responsibly and be prepared for wildfire. Continuing our “wildfire preparedness is year-round” campaign, our message for July is spark celebration, not wildfire.
Here are a few things to keep in mind on the Fourth of July and beyond:
A large part of our wildfire preparedness campaign is aimed at homeowners, especially in the wildland-urban interface, helping them prepare for wildfire. July is wildfire season in New Mexico, and although you may not be lighting off fireworks, your neighbors may have different plans. Enjoy your Independence Day celebration and rest easy by hardening your home to embers and flames.
The EMNRD Forestry Division is working with the Forest Stewards Guild, Fire Adapted NM, Cibola, Carson, and Santa Fe National Forests, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management New Mexico State Office to build a 2021 wildfire preparedness calendar and share messages across multiple platforms, including social media, webinars and community events. Bookmark the wildfire preparedness webpage to follow the campaign throughout the year.