Fire Mitigation

1.    Mission Statement


Timberlake subdivision is designated as at a very high risk of a devastating crown wildfire.  We will research and recommend interventions that decrease the risk of a wildfire in the Timberlake subdivision.  Through education and institution of specific projects Wildfire Mitigation will become an intrinsic part of the duties and responsibilities of every landowner and of the TRLA Board of Directors.

Approved 2/18/2019

2.    Firewise Your Home/Property


Remember to Firewise your homes and properties.

Whether one has an established home or are planning to build please learn how to prepare your home for wildfires through Firewise practices.

1. Read the literature distributed by Firewise USA:

The pamphlet entitled “Prepare Your Home for Wildfires” is free.  You can request a copy from Mary Jo Wallen at  Copies are also available in the Library at the Ranch House.

2. Remember a driveway entrance should be 18-22 feet wide and the driveway itself should be at least 12 feet wide – with 15 feet vertical clearance. (For point of reference a standard highway lane is 12 feet wide).

3. Ensure there is adequate room to turn a fire engine around near your home so that the firetruck can easily exit.  If the crew determines that they cannot safely exit your property in the event of a wildfire they will not enter the property to fight the fire.

Contact one of the following Fire Mitigation Sub-Committee members if you have any questions:

Mary Jo Wallen – 1-505-269-5022,

Ron & Rachel Schali – 1-505-488-0556, &

Tim & Eileen Domer – 1-505-713-0570,

3.    Alerts

July 24, 2019

Dear TRLA landowners:

The Wildfire Mitigation project is moving forward rapidly, with roadside clearing of ladder fuels already underway.

The next phase is to find resources to start reducing our huge wildfire fuel loads and improve the health of the forest throughout the 7000 acre Ranch. Major sources of potential funds are Federally-funded Healthy Forest cost-sharing programs administered by the State. A requirement to access these and other funds is the development of an Association-wide Management Plan for TRLA. This plan will address factors affecting forest health such as timber, vegetation, undergrowth, animal species, water, bark beetles and other potential causes of unhealthy forests. This plan must be submitted to the State by September for consideration of current funds. It requires a visual survey of the entire Ranch, including a walk-through  of approximately 500 lots, by a State-contracted Forester. The Plan will be prepared by the Forester, is comprehensive and will be several hundred pages. The Association cost of approximately $3500 has been approved by the Board.

Time is of the essence as the deadline for submission is early September. The Forester, Tom Marks, will begin his survey the week of August 5th. A major part of the survey is the lot walk-through.  He will be accompanied by members of the Mitigation Sub-committee and the Board. We are asking all landowners to cooperate with this crucial survey. If you do not want Mr. Marks to go onto your lot please contact Mary Jo Wallen directly at (505) 269-5022 by voice or text, or by email at If there is a locked gate or unrestrained dog the lot will not be entered.

It will take all of us working together to improve our forest health and protect Timberlake from a fate such as that of Paradise CA. All of us will benefit from reducing the high risk of fire and/or beetle infestation we currently face.

Sincerely,TRLA Wildfire Mitigation Committee.


Video About how one community’s actions to prepare for Wildfire stopped the 416 Fire

Tom Marks, can be identified with an orange vest and a white hard hat.  If you see him on the road and and want to ask him questions about forest health, etc., he will be glad to talk to you.  I have also given him a TRLA window sticker to use while he is working out here.


4.    Grants Applications/Other Forms

New Mexico Forest Health Initiative - Landowner Application

5     Links to Internet Resources

1. Read the literature distributed by Firewise USA:

2. 2018 draft of McKinley County CSPP (Community Wildfire Protection Plan)

3. After the Fire: Low Cost Flooding and Erosion Mitigation Strategies

4. Grants links

6.    Vendor Lists


1. Ramah Navajo Forestry, Michael Henio, 1-505-775-7123, or 1-505-259-4538.

2. Allen Fire LLC, 150 Gonzales Road, Edgewood, NM 87015, 1-505-281-4313


The Fire Mitigation Sub-Committee has put together this list of landowners or outside professional companies who can help you with deciding the best way to protect your home and property.  The Sub-Committee, the Timberlake Board\Organization are in no way recommending that you use these resources.  It is your responsibility to ensure that they are property licensed, etc.  

1. Ray Martin, Martin’s Wood Services-Forestry, Landscaping & Land Clearing, Grants, NM 87020, 1-505-287-1402, or 1-505-240-4957, 107 El Saguan Loop, Grants, NM 87020 ( A landowner)

2. Tom Brewer, Rocky Mt. Fire & Forestry, 1-928-368-3123, Community Firewise Assessor and Forest Manager in Snowflake, AZ., 2111 W. Ridge Road, Snowflake, AZ 85937, 30+ years’ experience

3. Holiday Nursery, 1214 E. Aztec Avenue, Gallup, NM 87301, John Kilgore, owner, 1-505-863-5791.

4. Mike Lipka (landowner) 1-505-783-4085, tree dropping, cleaning, maintenance and chainsaw safety. 32 years’ experience in wildland fire management.

Stephen and JoAnn Green (landowner), 1-505-209-0609, or 1-505-783-0185, drop trees, remove stumps, chipping, hauling,

7.    Sub-Committee Reports


JULY 20, 2019

1. Ray Martin, Martin’s Wood Services has completed work on Halcon, Bluebird (cliffside of Timberlake Road) and Conejo between Halcon and Bluebird.  Approximately 5.5 miles still needs to be completed in Zone 1.  Ray has been paid for 1 mile of Zone 1 work.

a. Question to Steve Wills, may we please have a signed copy of Martin contract for our files?  Also, was the Additional Insured Certificate received from Ray Martin?  

b. May 28t, 2019 letter sent out to obtain bids indicated that partial payment would be made at the completion of each section.  Is Martin being paid by the section or by the mile?

2. On July 17, we met with Peter Allen, Allen Fire LLC , who is a certified wildfire mitigation expert and a State contractor with NM.  He is starting his own mitigation/forest management business and was recommended by Todd Haines, District Forester for our part of NM.  We toured the ranch to assess the scale of the problem.  He agrees we have a heavy fuel load issue, at high risk for a devastating fire.  He will send us information on his company and a range of prices for various services he provides.

3. We met with Todd Haines on July 18, 2019 to discuss the importance of having a Management Plan developed ASAP, since this is needed in order to be eligible for the Forest Health Incentive Program for Timberlake.  He referred us to Tom Marks, who works with his office, for assistance in writing the Management Plan.  We hope to meet with him around the first of August since the deadline is critical (September). Approximate cost to Timberlake is $5,000 to complete the several hundred page Plan for all 7,000 acres.  If we do not meet the deadline for this fall, we will lose a year.  More details concerning cost sharing for landowners will be discussed at the meeting.  We are respectfully asking the Board to approve this expense ASAP since it is critical to get started now.  

4. Mary Jo and Ron talked to CDEC several times and Ron was finally able to get Mark Bahls, CDEC, to agree to have their sub-contractors leave brush piles no higher than two feet tall.  They were leaving the piles six feet high, which is unacceptable.  Ranger Whitehair from Mt. Taylor also assisted in this request to CDEC.

5. Fire Mitigation updates have been put on the website and in the July newsletter.  An update will also be provided at the July 23rd, Watch Group Meeting.


Mary Jo Wallen and Eileen Domer

At the annual meeting on May 25th, the committee  provided educational handouts describing ways to protect our homes and property.  These will also be available at our Annual Watch Group Meeting on July  23rd at the Ranch House at 6 pm and at the Tuesday Library Days.  You can contact Mary Jo Wallen at 1-505-269-5022 if you want anything before the July 23rd meeting.  TRLA windshield stickers are also available from Mary Jo Wallen or Nancy Wills -505 783 2457 (local) or 505 975 0528 (cell).

We are pleased that the TRLA Board budgeted $10,000 to begin fire mitigation along 10 miles of side roads in Timberlake.  Ray Martin won the bid to start trimming ladder fuels.  The goal is to complete this project before the chain saw restrictions begin.

We hope that through education and institution of specific projects Wildfire Mitigation will become an intrinsic part of the duties and responsibilities of every landowner and of the TRLA Board of Directors. Timberlake is designated as very high risk of a devasting crown wildfire. The Committee will  continue researching the possibility of obtaining grants to help landowners mitigate their property.

Please contact Mary Jo Wallen, Ron or Rachel Schali (505-906-7512) or Tim or Eileen Domer (1-505-713-0570) if you want more information on:

1.  Helping an elderly or disabled person with cutting brush and taking the brush to the burn pile.

2. If you need help, let us know what type of assistance you need.

3. If you would want to “chip in to rent a chipper”.  You would have to have the brush already cut and properly positioned to maximize the rental time of the chipper.

4. If you want to have a risk assessment done around your home.

During the annual meeting we discussed the reasons why we should all participate in this on-going project to protect our homes.  Todd Haines, District Forester for our part of NM, gave a presentation and provided us with Tree Measurement templates to help you determine the basal area (BA) of the trees on your property. You can then determine if trees need to be thinned or allowed to continue growing.  We hope to receive more of these templates for the July 23rd meeting.

Adam Berry, Emergency Mgt Coordinator, Gallup, and Dustin Middleton, Fire Marshal/Emergency Manager from Grants gave a brief presentation supporting the Emergency Evacuation Guidelines that we recently drafted.  They appreciated the fact that Timberlake is being pro-active.  The guidelines were also reviewed with Animal Control Officers in both counties and the Livestock Board.  One suggestion was to have a buddy system between all horse owners.  Since we have several new landowners with horses, we will be talking with them soon.  Julie Farrell, Ramah Volunteer Fire Dept. also mentioned that she is concerned about dogs that might be left behind in a house or vehicle in an emergency.  She has one small crate available in one of the Emergency vehicles and asked that anyone who could temporarily help take care of animals in an emergency to please let her know at 783-2423.

The 5/23/2019 Emergency Evacuation & Neighborhood Watch Group Guidelines will be posted in the Emergency area of our website.  Please also see the Fire Mitigation Committee's March newsletter.

Fire Mitigation Sub Committee Report  Article March 2019

Fire Restrictions, Fire Alerts, and Safety Related Items


Dial 911 for Emergencies - be sure to say in which County you are located (McKinley or Cibola)

Timberlake Volunteer Fire Department Phone:505-783-4221

Ramah Fire Department phone: 505-783-4252

New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department-fire restrictions

Timberlake Ranch Fire Alert - 3/10/2016

The Timberlake Volunteer Fire Department responded to a fire on Quail Road today, March 9, 2016.  Unfortunately, the fire appeared to have been started intentionally.  Please be aware and report whenever you might be suspicious of a fire; such as smoke in the sky or smelling smoke in the air.  Do not assume that it’s a campfire or someone’s fireplace.  Please contact either Andy Wilson (783-4704), Bill Sanders (783-2463), or 911 and report the location.  If we hadn’t discovered the fire early, many acres would have been damaged and the fire would have been more difficult to put out.

Sincere thanks to Nancy Dobbs for reporting the fire and to Bill Wolford, George Dobbs, Wayne Ramm, and Mike Henderson for putting the fire out.  It is nice to see neighbors coming together to handle such situations.

Steven Wills

TRLA President


Home Phone:  (505)783-2457