Governor addresses wildfires across New Mexico, calls for fireworks ban

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – At the Emergency Management Center in Santa Fe, Lujan Grisham updated the state on the several wildfires tearing through New Mexico.

At this time, the governor says there are 20 fires burning in nearly half of the state’s counties. That’s why, on Saturday, she announced she’s calling for a fire ban and the ban of fireworks.

"We have a longer, more dramatic and quite frankly more dangerous significant fire season ahead of us," said Lujan Grisham.

The biggest concern, the Calf Canyon Fire, which has destroyed a number of homes and forced dozens of communities to leave their homes.

"And is threatening nearly 900 homes," Lujan Grisham said.

More than a thousand firefighters in the state are battling these fires. The governor says she is in contact with the White House for more boots on the ground, as well as federal funding.

"We need more federal bodies for firefighting, fire mitigation, public safety support on the ground in New Mexico," said Lujan Grisham.

While the state is trying to take care of the current devastation, Lujan Grisham also announced change to prevent these wildfires for the future.

"It’s going to be a tough summer. So that’s why we are banning fires. And that is why on Monday I will be asking every local government to be thinking about ways to ban the sales of fireworks," Lujan Grisham said.

She says she doesn’t have the power to ban firework sales and is relying on local governments to do it. She knows many will not be happy with the temporary ban of sales, especially shops that rely on the business during Fourth of July. However, she says there are ways to make it work.

"What we learned in the pandemic is the state and local governments have some interesting flexibility to make businesses whole. We should be thinking about ways to do it all together," she said.

The governor also talked about cleaning up areas of dried brush like the bosque where at least three fires break out in just a matter of weeks.

For the fireworks ban, she said she would be calling up mayors on Monday to ask for their support on this issue.