Officials prepare for fire season

Scott Jaynes, Tucumcari's emergency manager, said in preparation for the upcoming and ongoing fire season that he has been in touch with the Red Cross and they have set up several shelter sites in Tucumcari in case of a major event.

Jaynes said the shelters are located at the Recreation Center, Convention Center, Elks Lodge, First Baptists Church and the National Guard Armory.

Jaynes said with very little grassland in and around the county, there is a lower chance of having grass fires. In the county, HOWEVER, there is CRP and if that happens to catch fire there will be problems with wildfires.

Fire Chief Larry Rigdon said his department has been training for wildfires and how to protect property between rural and urban areas. He said the department is working closely with the county fire departments on their planning and training for any incidents that may occur.

Rigdon said they are reviewing operational procedures for wildfires and making sure they have personnel, apparatus and trucks ready to deploy to any event in the Tucumcari area and for mutual aide with the county.

Rigdon urged everyone to be cautious with any controlled burns by checking the National Weather Service website to see what kind of winds are predicted.

"The conditions in this area have been very dry and windy," said Rigdon, adding that anyone planning a controlled burn needs to call central dispatch with notification of the date, time and location.

Central dispatch can be reached at 575-461-2610.

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