On January 20, BLM New Mexico transferred a fire truck to the White Oaks (FD) Fire District, located in Lincoln County, New Mexico, as part of the Rural Fire Readiness Program (RFR ) of the BLM. The transfer took place at the Lincoln County Emergency Services office in Ruidoso. White Oaks FD and Lincoln County have a strong working relationship with the BLM Pecos District, responding to wildfires on or threatening BLM managed lands.
BLM New Mexico Associate State Director Steve Wells joined State Fire Management Officer Craig Goodell and Acting District Fire Management Officer Nathan Curnutt to present the keys to the Chief of White Oaks Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), Robert Cranston.
Cranston said, “On behalf of the Fire Department and the residents of the White Oaks Fire District, we thank you and greatly appreciate your donation of the 2013 Ford Brush Truck. The truck will enhance our firefighting capabilities and provide better fire protection in our region.
The RFR program was developed to provide free firefighting equipment to local employees. Equipped with the necessary equipment for extinguishing fires, the transferred engine can be quickly put into operation by volunteer firefighters.
“We would like to thank the White Oaks Fire Department for their long-term contribution to fighting wildfires in Lincoln County and their strong partnership with the BLM. We are thrilled to be able to assist them in these efforts by passing this engine on to their fire department,” said BLM State Fire Management Officer Craig Goodell. “It is these critical partnerships that are helping to provide a safe, effective and efficient response to wildfires across the state of New Mexico.”
White Oaks Fire District personnel have completed necessary wildfire training and regularly respond to wildfires under state agreements, greatly assisting the BLM in forest interface areas and urban areas as well as in remote locations.
Lincoln County has seen many large wildfires over the past two decades and the fire danger is high in many parts of the county. This is the third fire truck transferred by BLM New Mexico in the past year. The other two were strategically placed with the Animas Fire Department to cover an area known as “Boothill” (southwestern New Mexico, near Arizona) in Hildago County and the Wild Horse Fire Department in west central New Mexico in Catron County.
For more information on the RFR program, visit: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/rural-fire-readiness-program)