Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round: When the Wind Blows Embers Can Follow! 

SANTA FE, NM – Wildfire season is coming, and now is the perfect time to prepare your home for a possible ember storm. The 2022 Wildfire Preparedness is Year-Round campaign provides monthly wildfire preparedness tasks that follow the changing seasons. The March message from the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) Forestry Division and its partners is when the wind blows embers can follow!

Although climate change and increasing drought are making wildfire seasons year-round, we are at most risk when winds are at their worst. In New Mexico, this is most common in the spring, when red flag conditions are common.

Research shows that the majority of homes lost to wildfire are ignited by flying embers. Embers are burning pieces of pinecones, pine needles, leaves, tree bark, twigs, and other flammable items that are carried by the wind. Hot embers can travel up to five miles in strong winds, putting your home and property at risk. 

Taking steps now to harden your home and create defensible space is the best way to reduce the threat of embers and wildfire to you, your family, and your community. Start by focusing on areas around the outside of your house and the exteriors of barns, sheds, and other structures where hot embers could land and spark a fire. 

Areas to concentrate on include the following:


  • Replace wood shingles with fire-resistant materials
  • Clean rain gutters and roof of leaf and pine needle debris regularly
  • Remove overhanging branches 

Vents and Eaves

  • Close vents and eaves with 1/8” metal screens to keep embers out of the attic
  • Use baffled attic vents


  • Enclose undersides of decks, balconies, and foundation of home with flame-resistant sheeting
  • Use fire-resistant decking and outdoor furniture
  • Keep deck clear of combustible items, including leaves and pine needles


  • Install double pane windows with tempered glass for windows and skylights to prevent breakage from radiant heat
  • Seal gaps in windows and doors, including the garage

Exterior Walls

  • Build or remodel with fire-resistant materials
  • Remove plants that climb up the house and under eaves
  • Use fire-resistant landscaping

Find more tips on protecting your home from a wildfire ember attack here or attend this webinar with the National Fire Protection Association on March 31st at 2pm. Other helpful resources include the Ready, Set, Go! Program (video), Living with Fire: A Guide for the Homeowner, New Mexico, and Firewise USA®.

The New Mexico Forestry Division is working with the Carson, Cibola, and Santa Fe National Forests, Forest Stewards Guild, Fire Adapted NM, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Land Management New Mexico State Office to continue our wildfire preparedness calendar in 2022 and share the message across multiple platforms, including social media, webinars and community events. Bookmark the wildfire preparedness webpage to follow the campaign throughout the year.    


The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department provides resource protection and renewable energy resource development services to the public and other state agencies.

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