FireWise Community Info


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is the most extensive public resource on fire, electrical, and related hazards. Founded in 1896 as a self-funded nonprofit, NFPA’s mission has evolved and expanded to include fire prevention, wildfire preparedness, electrical and hazardous material safety, community risk reduction and public education and safety programs, such as Firewise USA®.


Each NFPA-recognized Firewise USA® program, such as this one in Valle Escondido, provides a collaborative framework to help neighbors in a geographic area get organized, find direction, harness available resources, and take action to reduce wildfire risks at the local level.


We can’t stop natural disasters from occurring. Wildfire, however, is one natural disaster where increased safety to homes and communities can result from taking simple, scientifically proven steps beforehand. As neighbors we can improve fire outcomes by working together to do things like removing downed tree branches, dry leaves, and pine needles and other flammable material. Volunteers can also assist neighbors and participate in coordinated local efforts, such as community woodchipper events.


Each year, Valle Escondido Firewise must document continued progress in removing flammable materials from around our homes, participate in chipper days and other community wildfire prevention activities, distribute updated information in meetings or other activities. You can benefit from this knowledge and at the same time help Valle Escondido Firewise document progress you are making to protect your homes by using the Work Sheet (see links below). The form is also provided to each Chipper Day participant in Valle Escondido or Taos Canyon (link to tab 4 Chipper Days). Please send a completed form to Grady Basler, either in person, or by email to [email protected]. This information keeps the Valle qualified for annual recertification and helps us obtain updated information and other benefits as a nationally recognized Firewise Community. (Note you can also email Grady with a description of your information, and he will complete a form for you).  

Valle Escondido Wildfire Risk Assessment (link to pdf on Resource Page)
This assessment occurs each year and is included in our Firewise recertification application. Please note that Valle Escondido is rated "high risk” according to NFPA criteria, as surveyed by the Taos County Wildland Urban Interface Coordinator. It is important to know that removing dead or overgrown vegetation is the single most important thing homeowners can do to mitigate this risk.


A Note from the Rio Fernando Fire Department:

This Spring Rio Fernando Fire Department is finding more driveways that are not accessible to emergency equipment.

  • Locked gates and no snow removal mean no access!
  • The driveways need to be at least 12 feet wide, 13.5 feet tall and clear of all obstacles.
  • Trash cans, wood stacks and snow piles need to be kept out of the road access.
  • Tree branches and over hanging wires need to be 13.5 feet and higher so emergency equipment can get to the scene.


Homeowners, please work on your entrances to your home.  Think about gurney access and how emergency personnel can move patients out quickly.



File Uploaded