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New Mexico Wildfires. [Name] [Position] Department … [contact info]. New Mexico Wildfires. Wildfire Background Disaster Readiness Survival and Recovery. Wildfire Background. A Fire Typology Crown Fire Top to top Surface Fire Brush Grass* Lower branches Ground Fire Forest litter,

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New Mexico Wildfires


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    1. New Mexico Wildfires [Name] [Position] Department … [contact info]

    2. New Mexico Wildfires Wildfire Background Disaster Readiness Survival and Recovery

    3. Wildfire Background A Fire Typology • Crown Fire • Top to top • Surface Fire • Brush • Grass* • Lower branches • Ground Fire • Forest litter, • Duff • Roots • Spot Fire • Firebrands

    4. Wildfire Background Grass Fires* – Particularly Dangerous Hot, Intense and Wind Sensitive • Variable wind direction • Variable wind speed • 4 mph wind increase • 3 foot flame jumps to 15 feet

    5. Wildfire Background Three Ways Wildfire Spreads • Contact by Flames • Radiated Heat • Spotting Fire

    6. Wildfire Background • Fire Causes • Human • Lightning • 2006 Fires as of Mid-April • 537 Human caused - 242,460 acres burned • 9 Lighting strikes - 99 acres burned

    7. Wildfire Background Two Fire Seasons • Spring - First and Worst • Normally May 1st to July 15th • No rain + dry winds + vegetation • Fall – after Monsoon • Reduced moisture • Plant die out/dry out

    8. Wildfire Background Drought in New Mexico • Every 10 years on average • Length of drought varies • Effects on fire season • Starts earlier • Lasts longer • Increased number of fires

    9. Wildfire Background Drought Threat Estimate • 20 homes destroyed • 2000 people evacuated • Evacuations more than 3 days

    10. Wildfire Background At Risk • Then… • Forest • Grass • and now • Urban sprawl into Wildlands • Extends danger to more people and property

    11. Wildfire Readiness Are You Prepared?

    12. Wildfire Readiness Survival Factor One - Roofing Material • Build/remodel with Class A or B fire resistant materials • Class A fire-rated materials (2 - 4 hrs before ignition) • Tile, clay tile, concrete and slate shingles • Metal (with gypsum underlay) • Asphalt (fiber-glass reinforced) • Fiber-cement shingles

    13. Wildfire Readiness Survival Factor One - Roofing Material • Class B fire-rated materials (1 hr before ignition) • Pressure treated shingles • Pressure treated shakes • Class C isnot recommended (20 min before ignition) • Wood shakes and shingles • Plywood • Particleboard • Asphalt (mineral reinforced)

    14. Wildfire Readiness Survival Factor Two – Defensible Space • Area where vegetation & fuels are • Cleared • Reduced • Treated • Purpose • Slows the spread of fire to the structure • Slows the spread of fire from the structure • Room for firefighters to work

    15. Wildfire Readiness • Three Defense Zones • Size Varies • Building size and shape • Construction • Slope of site • Surrounding topography • Vegetation size and type

    16. Wildfire Readiness Zone 1 • Area 15 feet from structure edges • Key Points • Plant nothing within 3 to 5 feet of structure • Do not store firewood/flammables • Enclose /screen decks • Remove trees or reduce to one • Prune to 15 ft crown • Remove fuel ladders: leaves brush, shrubs

    17. Wildfire Readiness • Area 75 to 125 feet from structure edges • Slope & Topography • Increase distance • Example • 90 ft Uphill • 104 ft downhill Zone 2

    18. Wildfire Readiness Zone 2 • Key Points • Reduce fuels • Remove stressed, diseased, dead trees and shrubs • Thin and prune the rest to 10 feet between crowns • Thin along driveways to main access road • Mow grasses • Slopes • Allow more space between crowns • Move firewood/woodpiles at least 30 feet up slope

    19. Wildfire Readiness Zone 2 • Key Points • Locate propane tanks at least 30 feet from structure • Preferably on same elevation • Do not screen tanks with shrubs or vegetation • Clear all vegetation within 10 feet of tanks • Dispose of slash

    20. Wildfire Readiness Zone 3 • Undefined area beyond Zone 2 • Key Points • Thinning based on land management objectives • Species based on area • Consult Forestry Division experts • Mowing is not necessary • Pruning is generally not necessary.

    21. Wildfire Readiness Landscaping Defensible Space • Trees & Shrubs • Choose species that are fire resistant • Maintenance is still important • Native Grasses • Lower (shorter) growing • Less maintenance • Seed available & inexpensive

    22. Wildfire Readiness Landscaping Defensible Space • “Fire Wise Plant Materials” • Lists trees and shrubs • Available on the Web at http://aces.nmsu.edu/defensible_zone/protect/docs_pdf/fire_wise.pdf • “Grass Seed Mixes to Reduce Wildfire Hazard” • Native & non-native mixes • Listed by altitude range • Available on the Web at http://aces.nmsu.edu/defensible_zone/protect/docs_pdf/grass_seed.pdf

    23. Wildfire Readiness A defensible space might look like the one shown here.

    24. Wildfire Readiness Before Wildfire Threatens • Use the Annual Checklist • Defensible space cleared of trash and debris • Keep roof, gutters and chimneys clean • Grass & weeds mowed • Test smoke/CO detectors • Check fire extinguishers • Update Your Disaster Supplies Kit • Food, water and supplies for three days + First Aid Kit • Key Financial and personal papers • Plan for pet survival/removal

    25. Wildfire Readiness When Wildfire Threatens • Stay Informed & Prepare to Leave • Make vehicles ready for escape • Confine pets • Arrange for housing • Load Emergency Supplies Kit & Vital Documents Packet • Evacuate When Instructed • Wear protective clothing • Lock your home • Let someone know your plans • Drive away from fire

    26. Wildfire Readiness When Wildfire Threatens • If you have time • Close windows, vents, doors. • Shut off gas • Open fireplace damper; close fireplace screen. • Remove flammable materials from windows and sliding glass doors. • Leave a light on in each room to make the house visible in heavy smoke

    27. Wildfire Readiness When Wildfire Threatens If you have time • Seal attic and ground vents • Turn off propane tanks • Connect garden hoses • Place lawn sprinklers on roof & wet it down • Place sprinkler near above ground fuel tanks • Wet or remove shrubs within 15 feet

    28. Wildfire Readiness Full information is in “Creating Wildfire Defensible Zones” on the Web at http://aces.nmsu.edu/defensible_zone/protect/docs_pdf/wildfire_defense.pdf and “Wildfire…Are You Prepared?” on the Web at http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa-287-508.pdf

    29. Wildfire Readiness Recommended Web Site http://www.firewise.org Firewise Communities Program

    30. Survival during a Wildfire Vehicle • Roll up windows and close vents • Park away from trees and brush • Headlights on/ignition off • Get on the floor/coverup • Wait for fire to pass • Stay in the vehicle

    31. Survival during a Wildfire • At Home • Go inside as fire approaches • Fire will pass before the house burns down • In the Open • Sparse fuel area • Ditch, road cut or depression • Cover yourself

    32. Wildfire Recovery After the Fire • First 24 Hours • Contact Assistance Agencies • Contact Insurance Company • Ongoing Actions • Valuing Property • Replacing Documents • Salvage and Restoration

    33. Wildfire Recovery Web Site http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/citizens/all_citizens/atf/ After the Fire – Return to Normal

    34. Wildfire Readiness In Conclusion • The Wildfire Threat • Preparing for the Threat • Survival and Recovery