September rains and winter drought mean dangerous fire season

Posted at: 01/29/2014 5:31 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Much of New Mexico is looking more green thanks to the record rainfall we had in September, but with a month of little to no precipitation in many parts of the state, meteorologists say that this spring could be an even worse fire season.

Chuck Jones, the Senior Meteorologist for the National Weather Service, says that we're in a drought and it's getting worse.

He says that we're already seeing early signs of fires, with impressive ones reported earlier this month in Socorro County.

Fire officials have been doing prescribed, or controlled, burns in parts of New Mexico to try and alleviate areas that may be at higher risks to burn this spring and summer.

This was done recently in the Gallinas Watershed area near Las Vegas.

The areas that are of most concern for the National Weather Service: central and southern New Mexico.

"They have had very little precipitation for almost 40 days now and I think those areas will be the hardest hit," Jones said.

The National Weather Service would also like to see how green it is in your part of the state. To find out how you can help them spot the areas with the highest "fire fuels", send images to or upload pictures to the NWS Albuquerque Facebook or Twitter page.