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New Mexico State University

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NMSU Extension to host wildfire preparedness workshops in Rio Arriba County

ABIQUIU ? In severe drought conditions, one errant spark is all it takes to ignite a disastrous wildland fire. Rio Arriba County residents have watched as other areas in New Mexico, near and far, experienced the life-changing effects of such a blaze.

To help residents protect their homes and livestock from such a disaster, New Mexico State University?s Rio Arriba County Cooperative Extension Service office is hosting a workshop on emergency preparedness for inside and outside of the home.

?Rio Arriba County has been fortunate to not have the massive fires that have occurred in surrounding counties,? said Don Martinez, NMSU Rio Arriba Extension agricultural agent. ?It is important that people prepare their property to decrease risks, and have plans for evacuation of their livestock and themselves. This workshop will give them many techniques and tips on how to be prepared.?

The free workshop will be held in three locations:
? Abiquiu - 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 2, at the Extension office, 122-A State Highway 554.
? Tierra Amarilla - 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 3, at the Rio Arriba County Complex commissioner chambers, 149 State Highway 162.
? Dulce ? 1:30-3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3, at the Wild Horse Casino.

Presenters will include Doug Cram, NMSU Extension wild land fire management specialist; Mateo DeVargas, Rio Arriba County emergency preparedness director; Shane Faulkner, New Mexico Livestock Board inspector; Trina Hadden, veterinarian; and Rio Arriba County Extension agents Martinez, Marcella Talamante, Desaree Jimenez and Jesse Lefevre.

?Attendees will learn techniques on how to protect their livestock and homes from wildfire and tips for emergency preparedness inside and outside their home,? Martinez said. ?Also, emergency contact numbers will be shared, so people will know whom to call.?