Bernalillo County is currently in the process of updating the 2015 East Mountain CWPP. The County is working to update the Wildfire Protection Plan into a Countywide Wildfire Protection Plan and has contracted with SWCA Environmental Consultants (Steven W. Carothers & Associates) to spearhead this effort. Cody Stropki, Ph.D, Rockies Region Disaster & Resilience Director, will be the lead individual from SWCA Environmental Consultants in this process. To learn more about your role, we encourage residents to watch the following recorded presentation.
Ciudad SWCD contains the largest wildland/urban interface (WUI) in New Mexico. There are approximately 25,000 homes along the east side of this interface with the Sandia Ranger District of the Cibola National Forest. So far, the East Mountain communities of our District have not experienced the wildfires that many other regions of our state have. However, due to decades of fire suppression, conditions for a catastrophic wildfire (dense forest stands, drought and heavy fuel loads) in the East Mountains are ever-present.
In response to this risk, in 2006 a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) for the East Mountains was created. The effort to create the Plan was spearheaded by the East Mountain Interagency Fire Protection Association (EMIFPA) in cooperation with the Ciudad SWCD. A community-based process was used to create this Plan. The East Mountain CWPP was updated in 2015, and the updated version can be viewed and downloaded here. Input for the East Mountain CWPP is sought from all interested parties, residents, and public agencies on an annual basis to keep it current. To provide your input, our Community Comment Form is available at the bottom of this page.
In 2008, fires along the southern end of the Manzano Mountains served as a clear reminder that, while living close to nature can be beautiful and rewarding, it does require having a plan, being prepared, and increased awareness. Communities and landowners can minimize the damage to the forest, streams, wildlife, infrastructure, and private property by catastrophic wildfire by being prepared and taking action. Core Logic recently published a report entitled 2013 Wildfire Hazard Risk Report, in which they estimate that 8,000 residential properties in Tijeras, Cedar Crest and Sandia Park, worth a combined $945,000,000, are at high risk for destruction by wildfire. These and numerous other east mountain communities are classified as "high-risk" in the 2014 Communities at Risk Assessment Plan published by the NM Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
If you want to help reduce the risk of wildfire in your community and better protect your own home in the process, contact EMIFPA or Ciudad SWCD to receive notification of resources available to residents and landowners, including several programs, workshops and activities offered in the East Mountains by local public and private organizations every year.
Click here to view and/or download the 2015 Communities at Risk Assessment Plan.
Click here to view and/or download sections of the 2012 East Mountain CWPP.
Click here to view and/or download the 2015 East Mountain CWPP.