Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Santa Fe Shortchanges Rural Fire Districts.(Final)(Editorial)

EDITORIALS

Not much can be done about the facts that New Mexico is an arid state, and its wildlands are like tinder to lightning or a carelessly tossed cigarette butt.

But something can be done about the sad state of the departments that exist to fight fires. Something, in fact, was done. Then it was undone as negligently as a smoker using the landscape instead of the dashboard ashtray designed for cigarette disposal.

The Legislature in 1984 created a fund to help finance operations of fire departments. A 3 percent tax on property and vehicle insurance premiums generates money for the fund almost $193 million during the past five years.

But only $95. …

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