Fire danger persists in Four Corners despite rain

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FARMINGTON, N.M. – The rain has come to New Mexico, and while some communities are concerned with flooding, others have concerns over the fire danger.

The recent rain wasn’t enough to wash away fire danger in the Four Corners, said David Vega, Deputy Chief of Operations for San Juan County Fire and Rescue.

“The vegetation on the surface is still extremely dry, when you have small diameter sticks that break its telling me that there is no moisture in there,” Vega said.

Just as the rain evaporates, so do its benefits.

“The rain that we did have was spotty and we have been in such a moisture deficit for the past several months that the rain that we did get didn’t do much to alleviate the fire danger,” Vega added.

That’s because the Four Corners didn’t get enough.

“Imagine getting $50 to pay back on a $5,000 loan, it was nice but at the end of the day it really didn’t do much,” Vega said.

And sometimes the good can bring the bad.

“Lightning has the potential for a fire start so we do get a lot of fire starts this time of the year. The rain is welcome but sometimes depending on whether those thunderstorms are dry or wet it can be a blessing and a curse,” Vega said.

Until the Four Corners start to see widespread heavy rains over the course of days, all it takes is one spark could to still ignite a fire.

“Even though we had a couple days of rain we still are in fire restrictions the fuels are still extremely dry right now the cotton is flying that cotton seed is extremely flammable don’t get complacent things are still dry,” Vega said.

Vega added that the state’s open burning restrictions are still in place. Fireworks can only be set off on barren ground, like McGee Park in Farmington.