NM gets wildfire prevention law

The law will allow the state to collect federal money for wildland fire mitigation efforts and join an interstate prevention group

The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. — Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation aimed at better positioning New Mexico to protect its forests from wildfires and flooding.

One bill clears the way for the State Forestry Division to be reimbursed by the federal government for thinning and other conservation work done by state employees.

Another measure allows New Mexico to become a member state of the Interstate Compact for the Prevention and Control of Forest Fires. The group shares strategies for preventing and fighting fires.

New Mexico had back-to-back record fire seasons in 2011 and 2012. Thousands of square miles burned and communities are still living with the threat of post-fire flooding.

Martinez also signed measures related to geothermal resources, natural gas vehicles and mining.

The deadline for acting on legislation passed during the recent 30-day session is Wednesday.

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