Every year around the July Fourth holiday, Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue (RRFR) sends out members of the department’s Wildland Strike Team to provide severity patrols of the Rio Grande Bosque and other high-risk areas within the City’s jurisdiction. Late June and early July tends to bring hot temperatures and low moisture levels throughout most of the state. Combining drought conditions and the use of fireworks can prove to be very dangerous in many areas of the City. Wildfires in the mesa or along the Bosque can spread rapidly and endanger nearby homes and businesses.
The severity patrols target areas at high risk for a wildfire, such as the Bosque and the mesa areas in the north and west portions of the City. The crews will be providing an extra set of eyes and help reduce the response time to any fires that may occur in these areas. They will be on duty through the July Fourth holiday.
A recent fire in the Rio Grande Bosque is evidence of how a fire can spread rapidly through dry brush and thirsty trees. The additional threat of illegal fireworks increases the risk of a catastrophic fire occurring.
The City of Rio Rancho prohibits fireworks that go higher than 10 feet and are louder than a cap gun. Any fireworks that do not meet this standard are deemed illegal and anyone caught in possession of them and/or using them will be subject to a citation and possible penalty. This violation carries a potential fine of up to $500 and/or jail time of up to 90 days. Igniting fireworks, starting or maintaining any fire, or smoking in the Rio Rancho Bosque is prohibited by city ordinances at all times.
The firefighters from RRFR are ready to respond if a fire occurs, however, we ask that residents be fire wise this holiday season and keep their eyes out for signs of smoke or fire and report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.