Living With Wildfire

Thompson Ridge Fire

Our landscape has evolved with fire driving ecological systems, yet today fire often becomes a devastating force rather than a renewing, natural process inherent within the ecosystem. Our future depends on our ability to learn to live with fire—which is key to sustaining the healthy, resilient forests that can sustain our communities.

Living with wildfire is a complex concept that requires common sense, committed action, and community involvement. Each individual must take responsibility for their own situation, including the choices they make in where homes are situated, what materials homes are built out of, how fuels around buildings are managed, and how communities are organized. With conscientious planning, homes and landscapes can be designed to be easily protected or at less risk from wildfire.

There are several programs and concepts available to help individuals and communities become more adept at living with wildfire. These include the Firewise Program, Ready-Set-Go, Fire Adapted Communities, and more. Each family needs a pre-planned evacuation plan, each property needs a strategy for fuels management. Forests need to be managed in ways that restore ecosystem health including low tree densities that discourage extreme fire behavior.

Please see the following websites for more information on wildfires and programs to help reduce the impact of wildfires.

NM Fire Information

NM State Forestry

Colorado State Forest Service

Southwest Fire Science Consortium Webinars

Fire-Wise

Fire Adapted Communities

Living With Fire: Homeowner’s Guide