Keeping the bosque safe during wildfire season

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque fire officials saw the first significant bosque fire of the season Monday. It’s a good reminder for residents to keep their guard up and take care of one another.

Firefighters have been preparing for the possibility.

"Last year and the year before was significant because we had several small fires on a weekly basis," Lt. Tom Ruiz with Albuquerque Fire Rescue told KOB 4. "It seemed like we were out constantly."

Ruiz said this year, crews are taking even more proactive measures. Due to the dry conditions, the wind, and the potential for fires to quickly spread, they started their bosque patrols early.

"Being out and being visible to the public," Ruiz said. "Those individuals who are, perhaps, homeless individuals or just in the bosque starting those fires, if they see us out patrolling, we have a presence out, I think that acts somewhat as a deterrent."

Ruiz said a majority of fires in the bosque are human-caused, whether intentionally or by accident.

So far, fire officials said they’ve responded to two bosque fires this year. According to AFR, there were about 31 bosque fires in 2021, and 12 in 2020.