Live explosives from WWII create danger zone for firefighters in Manzanita Mountains

Live explosives from WWII create danger zone for firefighters in Manzanita Mountains

08 April 2015

published by www.kob.com


USA —  Fighting fires in the Sandia and Manzano mountains is dangerous enough, but there is one area in those mountains which is so dangerous, firefighters cannot go in.

The reason? World War II explosives.

Hidden in the Manzanita Mountains, just south of I-40 and west of Tijeras, is a relic of a time gone by – 40,000 acres of dangerous territory.

“That’s a very unique area in that it has a lot of unexploded ordinances,” said Cibola National Forest FMO, Bea Day.

During World War I, the U.S. government used the area as a weapons training range.

Even today, live explosives sit there, just waiting to go off.

That’s why the U.S. Department of Defense, which owns the property, has deemed this area restricted.

“Sometimes they are buried deep or they’re on the surface – but they’re not exploded,” said Day.

This danger zone is where firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service draw the line.

“If there’s anything that happens within that area, we are not going to deploy and engage the fire,” said Day.

If a wildfire ever starts in this explosive area, the U.S. Forest Service has a plan.

First, to take the fight to the sky with air tankers, and second, to coordinate with Kirtland firefighters who are trained to work there.

The best defense is preparation.

The U.S. Forest Service is establishing a fire break in the area outside of the restricted zone.

“In case something should happen, we at least can try and make some kind of a stand along that fuel break,” said Day.
 


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien