SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico is bracing for another bad wildfire season. Last year the Whitewater Baldy Complex Fire burned more than 300,000 acres in the Gila National Forest. It was the worst wildfire season in the state's history.
Governor Susanna Martinez has declared this week Wildfire Awareness Week and today signed three bills into law that will reward volunteer firefighters. The bills allow volunteers to get paid a stipend, and also sets aside more money for firefighter retirement benefits.
New Mexico has already seen almost 60 fires this year charring about 700 acres.