Monday, January 7, 2013

More Q&A

Check out the new questions with answers on the blog at

Friday, December 28, 2012

Cimarron Subdivision Awarded FireWise Certification

by George Barreras, Catron County Firewise Contractor

On December 21, 2012, Cimarron Ranch and Homestead subdivisions were accepted as National NFPA Register Certified FireWise Communities.  They join Quemado Lakes Estate, which achieved recognition in 2011.  The Village of Reserve  and Sawtooth Subdivision FireWise applications have also been submitted.

Certification for these communities was accomplished through the joint efforts of community landowners, local Fire Departments, State Forestry and Catron Counties FireWise Program.  When accepted, Catron County's Nationally Recognized FireWise communities will make up 38% of all FireWise communities within the State of New Mexico. Considering that there were no FireWise Communities in the county in January 2011, this is quite an achievement.

Catron County landowners are beginning to understand the importance of providing a FireWise landscape in order to protect their families, homes, pets and personal belongings. Being safe from wildfire involves developing a defensible space 30' and beyond around their homes. This effort will provides the safety zone needed for firefighters to save lives and property as well as reduces the risk from the spread of wildfire from the wildland-urban interface (WUI).

Protection starts by trimming the low lying branches at least 3' up the trunk of a tree and providing 5'-6' spacing between them. This spacing generally opens up the canopy which minimizes fire spreading across the crowns of the trees. Some dead and standing fuels should be removed while leaving some for wildlife habitat. Dead and on the ground fuels are also a risk. Dry pine needles and leaves are a fuel source and must be raked up and removed.

Attic, soffit and subfloor vents should be screened 1/8" mesh (metal). Gutters should be kept clear, chimneys should be screened as well. Deck crawl spaces should be covered to keep embers out. Firewood should be stacked away from the home 20'-30'. The area around the propane tank should be completely clear of all vegetation at least 10'.

"Ready-Set-Go" program information was mailed out to everyone in Catron County this past year and provided information on the essentials to have ready to go should a fire be approaching.  Items that should be included are:  medication, clothing (no synthetics), food, water, photos and important documents - and don't forget your pets.

It appears that the drought will continue this coming year so please be prepared.  It takes a complete community effort to be FireWise. Anyone choosing to live in the WUI (wildland-urban interface) will have to make a lifelong commitment to being FireWise. Let's all work together to make Catron County a safe place to live.

For more information on FireWise principles and assessments can contact George Barreras at
 H: 575-533-6378 C: 575-519-2161

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New info

New information has been posted on the Outreach page about a tentative community meeting in late January, and a new Q&A page has been set up.  Check them out (use the tabs, above).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Catron County CWPP: Regional Wildland Fire Risk Analysis Reports Now A...

Catron County CWPP: Regional Wildland Fire Risk Analysis Reports Now A...: Regional Wildland Fire Risk Analysis Reports Now Available Stakeholder Engagement Encouraged in Final Phase of the Cohesive Strategy EMM...

CWPP resources

Articles and documents of interest to anyone participating in the CWPP process can be found HERE.  These documents can  help with understanding the background of CWPPs and the process itself.

The first documents posted are links to Western Regional Risk Analysis Reports.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

Q & A

Several emailed and phone called questions have been received that were sparked by the initial mailing.  Here are some, with answers.

Q:  My property isn't in one of the subdivisions.  Does the Red Hill CWPP apply to my property?

A:  Yes.  If your property within the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) covered by the CWPP, then the CWPP applies to your property.  SEE MAP

Q:  My property isn't in WUI #47 or #49.  Does the Red Hill CWPP apply to my property?

A:  Yes.  If your property is near the WUI areas covered by the CWPP, then the CWPP will affect your property, particularly if your property is to the northeast of the WUIs (because the predominant winds drive fire to the northeast).

Q:  What is the point of a CWPP anyway?

A:  The point is to understand what citizens of the whole Red Hill area feel is important to them with respect to risk of catastrophic wildfire that could threaten lives and private property.  What are the things that you want to protect most?  How do you think that federal and state land management agencies should deal with the threat of wildfire?  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Red Hill CWPP

The following is introductory text from the CWPP. Additional text will be posted on the main blog page for ease of discussion as it is developed, as well as here.  Your comments, corrections and additions are solicited.


RED HILL (WUI #47 & #49) 
Community Wildfire Protection Plan 
A Supplement to the 
Catron County 
Community Wildfire Protection Plan

A Continuing Effort 
by and for the Citizens of Catron County, New Mexico 


Hugh B. McKeen, Chairman, Catron County Commission 
Zina McGuire, Catron County Fire Chief 
Lif Strand, Catron County CWPP Contractor; 
Ralph D. Pope, Southwest Native Ecosystems Management 
in partnership with 
New Mexico State Forestry Dept. and Catron County Rural Fire Departments 
Assisted by the San Francisco Soil & Water Conservation District, the U.S. Forest Service, the US Bureau of Land Management, Southwest Center for Resource Analysis at Western New Mexico University, University of New Mexico, and Northern Arizona University School of Forestry