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9 Tips to Protect New Mexico Ranches from Wildfires

Owning a farm or ranch can be a rewarding experience. Fresh air and rural living are extremely appealing. As many ranches lie on the far outskirts of town, some elements of Mother nature are more prevalent than others. If you’re a new ranch owner, we invite you to learn how you can protect your farmland from our upcoming dry season factors.

Ways to Protect Ranch Land from Fire

1. Create and maintain fire breaks. There are multiple ways to create effective fire breaks. From areas of bare soil to water features or fuel breaks, these features are meant to protect your property and reduce the potential for fire by reducing the amount of fuel available to a fire or creating spaces where the fire cannot survive.

2. Ensure adequate water supply. Some suggest that homeowners have a minimum of 2,500 gallons of water on hand in case of emergency. This water supply could be used to fight a fire, to water ranch animals, or even to provide water for drinking or personal use.

3. Ensure firefighter and equipment access.  After taking steps to prevent wildfires on your ranch, one of the most important things you can do is to provide access for firefighters and equipment, just in case something does happen. If firefighters cannot get to areas of fire, it increases the likelihood of major damage to your property.

4. Clear vegetation from the property. Remove overgrown and dead vegetation from your property; this can make your property more visually appealing, can give your animals better access to their feed and space, and also helps to limit the effects of wildfire, because it lessens the amount of fuel that is available to burn.

Ways to Protect Barns and Structures from Fire

1. Have equipment and buildings insured. Insurance for fire damage can be a huge stress reliever after a wildfire event. This sort of insurance varies from insurer to insurer, but some policies are specifically for structures, like farmhouse insurance, or may be specific to the land itself, like farm insurance.

2. Have working smoke detectors in all buildings and test them regularly.   A working smoke detector can save lives and make it easier to combat a fire by alerting individuals to a fire so that they can alert the authorities. A working smoke detector can help save animals too because ranch owners can respond more quickly and start moving animals out of affected buildings as soon as they hear the beep.

3. Keep fuel tanks away from structures. Above ground fuel tanks are a blessing and a danger. Blessing in that you can store large amounts of fuel for use around the ranch, but they become a danger during wildfire season. Experts suggest keeping this sort of tank at least 40 feet from any structure, to lessen the possibility that the fuel inside might cause a fire, or make one worse by exploding and catching nearby buildings on fire.

 Ways to Protect Ranch Animals from Fire

1. Do not turn horses loose. Instead, if you cannot evacuate them to another area, contain the animals inside a fire safe area on your property. This area should be devoid of vegetation and contain water and feed in metal containers. Turning them loose can increase the potential for injury and potentially lead to problems if the spooked animals block roadways and access.

2. Have a plan in place and somewhere to take animals if you have to evacuate. If you do have time, the best plan of action is to move your livestock. But, in order for that to work, you have to have a plan ahead of time and a place where you can take them.  Planning ahead can make all the difference in saving the lives of your animals.

Ranch life is about more than just raising animals and crops. In New Mexico, it's a way of life that not everyone understands. If you're looking for large ranches for sale,contact Ranchline Brokers today to see how we can help you find the New Mexico ranch of your dreams.