After a hot, dry summer, New Mexico continues to have above-average heat and little rainfall well into October. The unseasonably warm weather and the COVID-19 pandemic have made this year’s wildfire season unlike any other in recent memory.
“We did have a fair amount of fire this year,” State Forester Laura McCarthy told lawmakers Wednesday during a meeting of the legislative Land Grant committee. “The only upside to not having a monsoon season is that we didn’t have any debris flows or flooding.”
As of late September, New Mexico had 506 fires this year on state and private land, burning just over 44,000 acres. There have been 549 wildfires on federal land in New Mexico, burning nearly 88,000 acres.