The Claunch-Pinto Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) in New Mexico is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) near wildfire-ravaged areas across the state through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

“It is a long, detailed process,” District Manager Dierdre Tarr said. “But worth the time and effort.”

“It’s a learning curve where you learn something every day,” she said. “It takes time and patience, but it’s another area we can find dollars to put on the ground. That’s the important thing.”

The initial FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant targeted 135 acres of privately-owned property for thinning, harvesting and slash chipping to help with moisture containment and erosion. The area is adjacent to lands burned by four major wildfires that took place between 2008 and 2016. During those fires, more than 44,000 acres were devastated, 80 homes destroyed, and nearly 100 other structures lost.