Hondo Fire
Letter to Clinton from Bingaman

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Jeff Bingaman
New Mexico

703 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510-3102
(202) 224-5521
In New Mexico - 1800-443-8658
TDD (202) 224-1792

May 7, 1996

The Honorable Bill Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President

As you know, we are experiencing a very serious drought in New Mexico. Consequesntly, our fire season has begun early. We have already had a number of significant fires. If the spring is any indicator, we could be facing a devastating fire season.

As you know, many Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture employees in New Mexico are part-time fire fighters. They are activated as fire fighters on an "as needed" basis. With the ongoing staffing reductions I know it is difficult, but I respectfully request that you encourage field managers and supervisors to support the fire fighting activities in New Mexico by letting their employees participate as much as possible.

I also request that the Forest Service continue to provide "severity funding" to New Mexico during this difficult fire season. This funding is critical to support the unusually early fire fighting activities. Las week alone, almost 17,000 acres burned near Los Alamos. Currently, the Hondo fire is raging in northern New Mexico where 7,500 acres have burned and 30 structures destroyed. Continued severity funding is critical.

Thank you for your consideration on these requests and your continued efforts on behalf of my state. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any additional information.


Jeff Bingaman
United States Senator