New Mexico wildfire season safety tips

With the start of the 2023 wildfire season in New Mexico, it is vital to have an emergency kit and an evacuation plan in place for you and your family.

Whether you live in the wildland-urban interface or in a rural area in the mountains, communication is key during wildfire season. Be sure to register with your local government’s emergency management office for text or email notifications and connect with your county or city’s social media.

Create a family disaster plan that includes meeting locations and communication plans and rehearse regularly. Include the evacuation of large animals, such as horses, in your plan.

Put together an emergency supply kit or go-bag. The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Preparedness Guide, available at, is a good resource for items to include. Keep an extra kit in your vehicle. Don’t forget important family documents like birth certificates, wills, deeds and insurance policies.

Monitor fire weather conditions and fire status. See and Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for updates and check official information sources on the internet.

Do not wait to be advised to leave if there is a possible threat to your home or evacuation route. Leave early enough to avoid being caught in fire, smoke or road congestion. If you are advised to leave by local authorities, do not hesitate. If you don’t follow the leave order, understand that emergency services may not be able to assist you.

Head to a predetermined location in a low-risk area, such as a relative’s house, Red Cross shelter or evacuation center, motel or school. Identify several routes in case your first choice is closed due to the fire.