We couldn’t be more proud and more appreciative of those who worked so hard, so diligently and so passionately during the horrible Big Hole Fire in Valencia County that started on Monday, April 11.

Our local firefighters, law enforcement and volunteers who helped support our first responders have once again stepped up to help protect our families, our land and our beautiful bosque. Unfortunately, 19 structures, including one home and 18 outbuildings, were damaged or destroyed.

While we, as a community, continue to support those who lost their home and their properties, we urge you to continue to support these first responders who worked endless hours in the heat, the wind and the dangerous conditions.

Valencia County is lucky in that we are blessed with the support of so many other agencies across the state and beyond. Crews came in from the state level, regional and federal levels to help us.

If it weren’t for our first responders and others, who knows how much damage and destruction could have taken place. We owe you more than our gratitude; you all deserve our highest praise.

Our first responders weren’t the only ones who gave of themselves and their time. There were countless volunteers who helped to support the community and our fire crews.

Many donated water, food, toiletries and more, and even offered to open their homes for those displaced — both human and animal.

We weren’t surprised by the community’s generosity. Valencia County is filled with people who love this county, and who only want what’s best for its people. Thank you to those who give of their time and of their hearts.

Valencia County is not out of danger. As the weather warms and the winds continue to whip, please take care of our land and of each other. As a precaution, Valencia County Fire Department has issued a county-wide burn ban for the next 30 days, in cooperation with all the municipalities.

Let’s remember that we, as residents of this great county,  have a responsibility to not only keep our own properties safe but to help protect our neighbors and our entire community.

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.