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Lorenzo Velasquez, Director

1019 East Bender Boulevard, Hobbs, NM 88240 -
(575) 391-2983 - lvelasquez@leacounty.net
 
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OEM has many responsibilities as can be seen all over the county. You may see us on an emergency scene or at your local fire station assisting with annual pump testing. We participate in many public education events for schools or non-profits.

If your school or non-profit has an event you would like Emergency Management to attend, please feel free to contact us!

Lea County Emergency Management
(575)-391-2983


Our Mission



Emergency management is a coordinated effort, involving local, state, and federal agencies as well as volunteer organizations. These organizations assist the public and communities to prepare for, respond, and recover from the effects of natural, civil, and technological emergencies and disasters. The primary goal of emergency management is to promote awareness, prevent injuries, save lives, and reduce property damage in our community.

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About Us

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Lea County Emergency Management is responsible for planning the responses of small- and large-scale emergency situations to save lives, reduce injuries and preserve property. Emergencies and disasters, both natural and man-made, can affect every resident in Lea County. Sometimes threats occur that we simply cannot control or prevent from happening; ie, wildfires, hazardous-material spills and riots. However, from every family to every public safety department in Lea County, we all can prepare for how we respond to these emergencies. Preparing your family's responses to emergencies is critical, and it takes just three steps:
  • 1. Make a family emergency plan
  • 2. Get an emergency supply kit
  • 3. Be informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur in your area and their appropriate responses.

For more detailed lists and plans visit:

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What is the Home Ignition Zone?

The concept of the home ignition zone was developed by retired USDA Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen in the late 1990s, following some breakthrough experimental research into how homes ignite due to the effects of radiant heat. The HIZ is divided into three zones.

Home ignition zone
Immediate zone

The home and the area 0-5’ from the furthest attached exterior point of the home; defined as a non-combustible area. Science tells us this is the most important zone to take immediate action on as it is the most vulnerable to embers. START WITH THE HOUSE ITSELF then move into the landscaping section of the Immediate Zone.

  • Clean roofs and gutters of dead leaves, debris and pine needles that could catch embers.
  • Replace or repair any loose or missing shingles or roof tiles to prevent ember penetration.
  • Reduce embers that could pass through vents in the eaves by installing 1/8 inch metal mesh screening.
  • Clean debris from exterior attic vents and install 1/8 inch metal mesh screening to reduce embers.
  • Repair or replace damaged or loose window screens and any broken windows Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent debris and combustible materials from accumulating.
  • Move any flammable material away from wall exteriors – mulch, flammable plants, leaves and needles, firewood piles – anything that can burn. Remove anything stored underneath decks or porches.
Intermediate zone

5-30’ from the furthest exterior point of the home. Landscaping/hardscaping- employing careful landscaping or creating breaks that can help influence and decrease fire behavior

  • Clear vegetation from under large stationary propane tanks.
  • Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
  • Keep lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
  • Remove ladder fuels (vegetation under trees) so a surface fire cannot reach the crowns. Prune trees up to six to ten feet from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.
  • Space trees to have a minimum of eighteen feet between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope.
  • Tree placement should be planned to ensure the mature canopy is no closer than ten feet to the edge of the structure.
  • Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity of the vegetation across the landscape.
Extended zone

30-100 feet, out to 200 feet. Landscaping – the goal here is not to eliminate fire but to interrupt fire’s path and keep flames smaller and on the ground.

  • Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
  • Remove dead plant and tree material.
  • Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
  • Remove vegetation adjacent to storage sheds or other outbuildings within this area.
  • Trees 30 to 60 feet from the home should have at least 12 feet between canopy tops.*
  • Trees 60 to 100 feet from the home should have at least 6 feet between the canopy tops.*

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