New Mexico to Use Satellite Tracking during Wildfire Season

Real-time alerts from Santa Fe lab

 

 

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has a new tool that could help crews get an early jump on any wildfires that might break out.

The State Forestry Division will be getting real-time alerts via a satellite tracking system designed by the Santa Fe-based startup Descartes Labs. The program can detect temperature increases from new fires using data that’s updated every few minutes. Text messages will then be sent to State Forestry with the location and a detailed map.

Full implementation of the satellite program is expected to help this season as the agency is faced with unusual circumstances because of the public health emergency spurred by the new coronavirus. State officials said specific guidelines are in place requiring health screenings at State Forestry facilities during regular work hours and while on fire assignments.

See also  Respiratory Protective Equipment for Wildland Fires

“We are still prepared with hundreds of firefighters at the ready across New Mexico,” State Forester Laura McCarthy said in a statement. “Together with our local, state, federal and tribal partners, we have developed wildfire response plans and have adjusted training practices to minimize physical contact during all work-related activities.”

Since the start of the year, the agency said more than 60 wildfires have threatened homes, burned state lands, and put New Mexico’s watersheds at risk. Nearly three-quarters of the fires were caused by people.

The State Forestry Division is urging property owners and others to be prepared. Recommendations include creating defensible space around homes, building campfires only in designated pits and grills and abiding by fireworks restrictions.

See also  Dog Waits Weeks for Owner at Fire-Damaged California Home

All contents © copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Topics

Real-time alerts from Santa Fe lab     SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has a new tool that could help crews get an early jump on any wildfires that might break out. The State Forestry Division will be getting real-time alerts via a satellite tracking system designed by the Santa Fe-based startup Descartes […]

Get The Wildland Firefighter Newsletter

Related Articles

Western Flames Spread, CA Sees Its Largest 2022 Fire

Western Flames Spread, CA Sees Its Largest 2022 Fire

By NOAH BERGER Associated Press YREKA, Calif. (AP) — Crews battling the largest wildfire so far this year in California braced for thunderstorms and hot, windy conditions that created the potential for additional fire growth Sunday as they sought to protect remote...

Chief: Bottle-Magnified Sunlight Ignited Possum Kingdom (TX) Fire

Chief: Bottle-Magnified Sunlight Ignited Possum Kingdom (TX) Fire

By TERRY WALLACE Associated Press Sunlight magnified by glass bottles in an open garbage can ignited paper trash, starting a 500-acre (200-hectare) North Texas wildfire that destroyed five homes, fire officials said Thursday. The July 18 fire on Possum Kingdom Lake's...