Susana Martinez on NBC Nightly News talking about NM wildfires
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NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams edited a string of soundbites with Gov. Susana Martinez discussing the wildfires raging across the state, including the Little Bear Fire that forced hundreds of homeowners to evacuate Ruidoso.
She talks about the destruction and touches on the question about whether there should be some re-thinking about forest management. Here’s the video:
In an article in Wednesday’s Ruidoso News, another forest official defended the service’s actions, saying firefighters did indeed try to douse the blaze in its early stages:
Eddie Tudor, bureau chief of resource management for New Mexico forestry … addressed specific concerns, including Congressman Steve Pearce’s remarks that forest service officials had been slow to get water on the blaze.
“The question has come up, why wasn’t water used, why wasn’t a bucket drop used,” he said. Because of the elevation of the fire, 10,500 feet above sea level, helicopters were unable to respond with standard equipment, he said.
A helicopter had been sent up to the fire within hours of its detection to shuttle the Sacramento Hotshots up to the slopes to begin suppression, he added.
“Water was never denied on the fire, it was never rejected on the fire, it just had to be taken in a different manner because of the altitude,” he said. “At that altitude it’s really difficult to get equipment off the ground and safely carry it.”
Click here to read the entire Ruidoso News story.
As of 12:46 a.m. Friday, fire officials say the Little Bear Fire is 45 percent contained, has burned nearly 38,000 acres and at last count has destroyed 234 structures including 224 homes. Click here for the latest incident reports.