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Rain Brings Reprieve For NM Forests

Just ahead of what could be a busy fire season for New Mexico, some parts of the state finally saw some rain, bringing temporary relief from the drought conditions.

State forest officials told ABC-7 this bit of moisture won’t have any long-term effects on the season.

Residents in Cloudcroft enjoyed the weather and said it’s about time it rained.

“It’s a treat. We finally got some moisture, and we really needed it so it’s really nice,” one resident told ABC-7.

Residents bundled up for some chilly temperatures and some much needed moisture. Fog and mist covered the area, finally giving this part of the Lincoln National Forest some relief from the dryness.

New Mexico State Forestry Division Spokesman Dan Ware said this is just a temporary reprieve from the high risk of forest fires.

“The potential is certainly there. It’s there now, and it will be throughout the summer for there to be wildfires and forest fires as well,” Ware said.

Ware said by this time last year there were about 600 fires in the state. This year there’s a much lower figure — around 150 fires.

“We’re doing much better this year, but we say that with caution because the potential is still there for a large wildfire to break out,” Ware said.

Ware told ABC-7 it’s important that residents don’t let their guards down just because there hasn’t been a large forest fire this year.

“Just because we’re getting a few days of good rainfall, it’s not raining everywhere around the state. Our fire danger is still going to be high,” Ware warned.

Forest officials said it’s important for people to continue to prepare for a busy fire season and take all the necessary precautions, such as cutting down dying trees to reduce fire hazards.

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