Officials prepare for fire danger due to high heat and shrinking river levels

[anvplayer video=”5184677″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Corrales Fire Department has been out along the Rio Grande almost every day this summer, keeping an eye on those enjoying the river. 

But, they’re always on the lookout for fires in the bosque. With river levels dropping, and little to no rain, the fire chief says we have to be careful. 

“Never let your guard down just because, you know, we’re having a better season. Others may not be,” said CFD Chief Anthony Martinez. 

Martinez says just because the period we typically consider fire season is “over,” it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear. 

“Our bosque, we have real strict rules. There’s absolutely no campfires, no outdoor cooking, no cigarettes, and electronic cigarettes. And we really try to, you know, patrol and enforce that because our bosque is a risk,” said Martinez. 

He says the river levels are starting to drop, and the dry brush could go up in flames in an instant. They’ve already had to respond to some fires this season. 

Martinez says no homes were burned, but people should always have an action plan in case of emergencies.

“We try to patrol on a daily basis, there are some days that we can’t make it out because we’re busy with other calls. But we try to go to, you know, popular areas of our bosque, and just talk to the general public and remind them of the rules,” Martinez said. 

He says people are generally pretty responsive when they’re told they can’t smoke or make a fire. 

Just because we haven’t had catastrophic fires like last year, doesn’t mean we can take a year off. 

“You should take the opportunity right now to clean up your property, make it fire safe, do defensible space,” said Martinez. 

Martinez says you can always reach out to your fire department for tips on preparing your property for fire prevention as well.