New Mexico proposal would ban prescribed burns on red flag days

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SANTA FE, N.M. — It’s been nearly a year since the eventual Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire erupted in northern New Mexico – the largest wildfire in the state’s history.

State lawmakers are moving along with a bill that is designed to make the forests safer.

If Senate Bill 21 is passed, no agency would be allowed to start a prescribed burn if a red flag wind warning is issued by the National Weather Service. As long as there is a favorable forecast, agencies are allowed to state prescribed burns or pile burns as they see fit.

A few words of the bill were amended in Tuesday’s committee meeting to make the bill more concise. The bill will now head to the House floor.

Track SB 21 during the legislative session.