Here’s a look at today’s headlines:
The lightning-cause Black Fire was detected on the Silver City Ranger District of the Gila National Forest early yesterday morning. The fire is located in a drainage south of Black Peak, and is partly within the burn scar of the Signal Peak Fire. The Black Fire is in close proximity to the Continental Divide Trail and visitors and hikers are being asked to avoid the area. An official Closure Order is in effect for Signal Peak, Lockney Road, and the Continental Divide Trail, and will remain in effect until further notice. The fire was estimated at 167 acres this afternoon.
Other fires in the state include the Airport Fire in Quay County, the Clavel Fire, previously known as the Mitchell Fire, burning in Harding County, the Black Range Complex including the Cooney and Kline Fires in the Gila National Forest, the Eggert Fire near mile marker 56 on Hwy 120, the Independence Fire on Carson National Forest, the School Fire within the Gila National Forest near the 2006 Bear Fire Burn Scar, the Shooting Range Fire two miles east of Capitan in Lincoln County, and the Westfall Fire east of Arabela in Lincoln County.
Governor Susana Martinez was in Silver City yesterday as part of a campaign to tout the fourth consecutive year of increased tourism in the state thanks to the New Mexico True program. The Governor also took part in a ribbon cutting for Parklet 106 in Downtown Silver City. Martinez said the state has seen a 284% increase in tourism over the past five years thanks to the New Mexico True campaign, and over 2,500 jobs have been created in the tourism industry.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced funding for 821 projects across the nation that will help rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. The funding is available through the Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, and will be used to make energy efficiency improvements and install renewable energy systems.
US Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced more than $10.4 million to support border security and emergency preparedness in New Mexico. The grants were awarded through several US Department of Homeland Security preparedness grant programs. The state of New Mexico will receive money through the State Homeland Security Program and the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program. Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna and Otero counties will receive additional funding through the Operation Stonegarden program, which provides funding to enhance cooperation and coordination among local, Tribal, territorial, state and federal law enforcement agencies to secure the US’ international borders.
New Mexico has tracked significant declines in the overweight and obesity rates among students in kindergarten and third grade between 2010 and 2015. Healthy Kids Healthy Communities has been a key program for helping children eat well and move more, and now serves nearly one in four of New Mexico’s public elementary school students in communities with the highest poverty rates.