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Udall, Heinrich concerned about fires, power lines

(AP) — Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation are urging federal officials and utility companies to find ways to prevent wildfires.

Sens. Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich have sent letters to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Interior Department and several utilities and electric cooperatives.

Their concerns stem from two wildfires that are burning in the Santa Fe National Forest in northern New Mexico. The fires have charred dozens of square miles in just one week after being sparked by downed power lines.

Udall and Heinrich say current regulations should be reviewed and improvements made.

They say extra attention to vegetation management along rights of way and quick responses to downed lines will be important steps in preventing the kinds of fires that can threaten homes, other infrastructure and forests.