Today, Governor Susana Martinez authorized the deployment of 15 New Mexico National Guard soldiers to help secure areas around the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire burning in the Gila National Forest and Gila Wilderness. Governor Martinez has also asked New Mexico Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHSEM) Secretary Greg Myers to travel to Reserve and assess any other ways in which the State can help protect lives and property of New Mexicans.
"I have asked the Guard to step in and help secure closed and dangerous areas around the fire. The Guard stands ready to deploy if additional resources are necessary. For the safety of citizens and the safety of those trying to fight the fire, please avoid these areas," Governor Martinez said. "The US Forest Service continues to fight this blaze and the State will assist that effort where lives and property of New Mexicans are in danger."
DHSEM Secretary Greg Myers will tour the Incident Command Post in Reserve, the Glenwood Community Center shelter, and the area around the fire. To date, the communities of Mogollon and Willow Creek are under evacuation and the fire has burned over 120,000 acres and at least 12 structures.
"The State continues to take a proactive approach to this fire. Last week, the State's Emergency Operation Center elevated its status to increase our monitoring and capacity to respond quickly," Secretary Myers said.
Yesterday, Governor Martinez's Administration asked for and received a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FMAGs are designed to help pay for up to 75% of the cost of suppressing the fire, which can include pre-positioning of resources, evacuations and sheltering, traffic control, fire equipment use and more, but does not cover costs for reimbursement of property damaged or destroyed by the fire.
New Mexico State Forestry and the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management urge all state residents and visitors to do their part in preventing and being prepared for wildfire. Should evacuations because of wildfire become necessary, remember the "Five Ps" you need to have ready to go: People, important Papers, Prescriptions, family Pictures and Pets.
Visit http://www.governor.state.nm.us and click on "Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire Emergency Information" for current information about the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire. For additional information on active wildland fires in New Mexico or information on wildfire preparedness and prevention, log onto www.nmfireinfo.com or www.inciweb.org.