Local fire officials urge preparation for fire season

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By Carol A. Clark

Winds blowing on an already dried out county landscape have fire officials concerned.

“The conditions we’re seeing right now could start our fire season as early as this month,” said Los Alamos Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Doug Tucker. “We’re trying to prepare folks and not scare anybody but it’s lining up to be a severe wild fire season.”

Assistant Chief/Fire Marshal Michael Thompson agreed.

“The Cerro Grande Fire started in May when conditions were very dry,” he said. “Right now some of our northern faces have a little snow left, but not much. This week we are supposed to get more moisture but then it’s predicted that conditions will dry out again.”

Tucker belongs to the Interagency Wildfire Team comprised of fire experts from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the forestry and parks departments, and emergency response personnel.

“We’re all paying close attention to the weather at this point,” Tucker said of his team members. “We’re all looking at doing our wildfire training early this year in preparation for what looks to be an earlier fire season.”

Tucker and Thompson want to alert the public to the dry conditions and encourage them to prepare defensible space around their properties right now.

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