New Mexico Fire Officials Reflect on ‘Busiest Year’

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN | January 5, 2012

New Mexico may have more snow on the ground as it starts the new year, but much of the state remains in drought and fire officials are preparing for what could be another rough year.

State Forestry officials have outlined the damage from last year’s fire season in an annual report.

They say more than 1,000 fires burned more than 967,000 acres in New Mexico. More than 80 percent of those on state and private land were human caused.

State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware says the number of acres burned, the length of the fire season and the tens of millions of dollars spent on fighting the fires made the year remarkable.

With forecasts calling for more dry weather heading into the spring, fire officials say they are already pushing the prevention message.

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