Wildfire Defensible

Large historic fires have served as wake-up calls to County residents on the importance of being prepared for wildfires. New Mexico typically experiences drought year-round that can increase the danger of wildfires. For a checklist of wildfire preparedness and prevention steps you can take, visit ready.gov

Here are some things you can do to make your home defensible:

  • Install fire-retardant siding and roofing on your home. The expense is worthwhile.
  • Clear brush and vegetation away from your home. Ensure that nothing ignitable is in contact with the structure, especially overhanging tree branches or vines against walls.
  • Clean your roof and gutters, removing leaves and pine needles. Also clean leaves and trash from under any structures.
  • Rake up and dispose of all pine needles, leaves and dead grasses in your yard.
  • Keep woodpiles away from the building. These can ignite and catch adjacent objects on fire.
  • Place 1/2-inch mesh screening around decks, porches, vents and over the chimney to prevent smoldering embers from entering, and have your chimney cleaned regularly.
  • Consider installing double-paned windows and heavy solid doors for added fire resistance.
  • During the fire season, keep flammable items like curtains and furniture away from windows where they may be ignited by heat radiating through the glass.
  • Create a buffer zone of defensible space around your home in which vegetation has been thinned. Prune trees near the ground to prevent ground fires from climbing into tree crowns.

For more information on wildfire preparedness: contact the Los Alamos Fire Department (505-662-8301) or the local U.S. Forest Service office (505-667-5120). You can also visit www.firewise.org. To read a summary of lessons learned from the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000, click the link in the right sidebar or contact the County Office of Emergency Management at 505-662-8283.

Links and Documents

Cerro Grande: Lessons Learned(PDF, 93KB)

Ready, Set, Go

Los Almos Fire Department Wildland Division