Gov: 2012 fire season costing state millions
Posted at: 06/22/2012 7:16 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Governor Susana Martinez's office released figures to KOB on how much the state has spent on wildland fires in this fiscal year.
So far, according to the governor's office, $9 million has spent from the state’s reserves on executive orders signed by the governor authorizing funds to battle fires.
The state has spent $3.85 million in emergency funding for the State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to help with flood mitigation efforts following wildfires, and to coordinate emergency and evacuations during wildfires.
The state has also spent $2.5 million in emergency funding for the New Mexico National Guard to help in the state’s emergency response activities.
"It's not of significance to us what it's going to cost, fight the fire now, we'll worry about how to pay for it later," Gov. Susana Martinez said.
New Mexico is breaking records in all of the wrong places.
Last summer, the Los Conchas fire near Los Alamos set a record for most acres burned.
That record was shattered by the Whitewater/Baldy fire burning in the Gila National Forest near Reserve.
The Little Bear fire burning near Ruidoso destroyed more homes than any other fire in New Mexico history.
And this week alone, more than 350 acres burned near Bloomfield and another 380 acres burned near Corrales. “We are within budget,” Gov. Martinez said.
“We knew last year that this year could be a fire season that would be worse than last year. So in preparation of that, we had to make sure we had enough in reserve and enough to fight these fires and enough in those executive orders to cover these funds."
The state has the ability to apply for federal reimbursements.
The governor said the state's reserves are at very healthy levels and can handle a rough a fire season.