Quay County Officials Urge Wildfire Preparedness Amid Climate Change Risks

Quay County officials, including Fire Marshal Lucas Bugg and Emergency Manager Bill Kardokus, are urging residents to take proactive measures to prepare for wildfires amidst increasing risks posed by climate change, emphasizing the importance of creating defensible spaces and preparing go bags to ensure safety and mitigate property damage. The officials' warnings come as climate change exacerbates wildfire risks, straining firefighting resources and insurance markets, with significant implications for rural communities and the economy." This description focuses on the primary topic of wildfire preparedness, the main entities involved (Quay County officials), the context of climate change, and the significant actions and consequences related to the subject matter. The objective details provided will help guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content, such as depicting a rural landscape with defensible spaces, go bags, and firefighting equipment, while conveying a sense of urgency and importance.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Quay County Officials Urge Wildfire Preparedness Amid Climate Change Risks

Quay County Officials Urge Wildfire Preparedness Amid Climate Change Risks

Quay County's fire marshal and emergency manager are urging farmers, ranchers, and residents to take proactive measures to prepare for wildfires, citing the increasing risks posed by climate change and limited firefighting resources in rural areas. Fire Marshal Lucas Bugg and Emergency Manager Bill Kardokus emphasized the importance of creating defensible spaces and preparing go bags to ensure the safety of lives and property.

Why this matters: As climate change continues to exacerbate the risk of wildfires, it's essential for communities to take proactive steps to mitigate the risks, not only to protect lives and property but also to prevent further strain on already limited firefighting resources. The increasing threat of wildfires also has broader implications for the insurance industry and the economy as a whole, making it a critical issue that requires immediate attention and action.

Bugg stressed the need for property owners to create defensible spaces by clearing vegetation, maintaining fire-resistant landscaping, and implementing structures that are less susceptible to ignition. "They are not malnourished, they are not dead, they're green... And they will burn," said Anne Cope, chief engineer at the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), referring to shrubs that can fuel wildfires. A recent demonstration at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise showcased the effectiveness of defensible spaces and fire-resistant materials in protecting homes from wildfires.

Kardokus recommended that each family member, including pets, have their own go bag prepared with essential items such as important documents, medication, clothing, non-perishable food, water, flashlight, batteries, and a first aid kit. Residents can find more tips for creating defensible spaces at QuayCounty-NM.gov and ideas for building a go bag at Ready.gov.

The officials also urged residents to be fire-aware year-round, being alert to hazards that can start fires, such as smoldering cigarettes, chains on trailers, or idling vehicles in grass. Residents can stay informed about current hazards and warnings by signing up for text or email alerts on the county website or by downloading the "Public Safety by Everbridge" app.

Climate change is exacerbating the risk of wildfires across the country, straining insurance markets and making it difficult for homeowners to obtain affordable coverage. A September 2023 report from the First Street Foundation highlighted the growing issue of uninsurable locations due to climate hazards. Over a million acres of grassland burned in Texas in February, while the Lahaina fire in Hawaii claimed over 100 lives last year.

Quay County officials are urging residents to take proactive steps to mitigate the risks of wildfires and ensure the safety of their families and properties. By creating defensible spaces, preparing go bags, and staying informed about current hazards, farmers, ranchers, and residents can be better prepared for the increasing threat of wildfires in the face of climate change.

Key Takeaways

  • Quay County officials urge residents to prepare for wildfires due to climate change and limited firefighting resources.
  • Create defensible spaces by clearing vegetation and using fire-resistant materials.
  • Prepare go bags with essential items, including documents, medication, and non-perishable food.
  • Stay informed about current hazards and warnings through county website or mobile app.
  • Proactive measures can help mitigate wildfire risks and ensure safety of lives and property.