Sal Gullo, firefighter, EMT, and member of the brigade since 2000, was recently elected Chief of the Placitas Fire Brigade.
Placitas Fire Brigade elects new leadership
In mid-April, the voting membership of the Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (District Four of the Sandoval County Fire Department) held an election to select a new chief.
Effective immediately, Sal Gullo, firefighter, EMT, and member of the brigade since 2000, was elected Chief. Chief Gullo will partner with Humberto Macias, Assistant Fire Chief; Drew Owens, Assistant EMS Chief; and an additional command staff of nine to move the department forward in the areas of recruitment, training, response, and community service.
In the near future, work will begin on a two-bay addition to the brigade’s main station on Highway 165. Construction of the addition has gone to out bid; the County Commission is expected to choose a construction firm shortly. Additionally, a third station, which will be located in Anasazi Meadows, is anticipated to be completed in 2009/2010. This station will be a fully-manned station with personnel available around the clock.
Also in April, a new bookstore in Bernalillo—Under Charlie’s Covers—set up a fundraiser to benefit the brigade. Jan Bartelstone, a New Mexico photography artist, donated a large framed print to Under Charlie’s Covers. This beautiful print of the New Mexico landscape is the centerpiece of a raffle, with one hundred percent of the proceeds to be donated to benefit the non-profit Placitas Volunteer Fire Brigade (PVFB). Raffle tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at Under Charlie’s Covers or from members of the brigade. The raffle ends on May 31, so purchase tickets early.
If you have an emergency, please remember to call 911. Non-emergency inquiries to PVFB can be directed to 867-5080. When you see brigade members in the community, please remember to thank them for their volunteer service!
Sandia Mountain picnic area closed due to vandalism
The Las Huertas Picnic Grounds, located on Highway 165 between Placitas and Crest Highway 536, will not be open this spring due to vandalism. “We are currently working on a repairing the facilities, but it will take some time. This area is a favorite picnic site for many of our visitors. We are working hard to get it open in May,” said Cid Morgan, Sandia District Ranger.
There are many beautiful picnic areas in the Sandia Mountains to enjoy. On the east side of the mountain, north of I-40, Doc Long, Cienega, Sulphur, Balsam Glade, and Dry Camp are open. South of I-40, Pine Flat picnic area is open. On the west side of the mountain, Juan Tabo and La Cueva picnic areas are open.
At this time, there are no fire restrictions in place but, please remember, many wildfires are the result of abandoned campfires. We recommend cold picnicking when it is windy. If you do have a fire or BBQ, make it small and extinguish it… dead out! The last thing you should do when leaving a picnic or camping area is to make sure all litter is picked up and the fire is cold to the touch.
Do be careful while on hiking trails and in picnic areas. There are many hazard trees due to bug kill from the last few years. Monitor the trees around and above you to make sure nothing has the potential to fall.
A fee is required when utilizing our recreation areas. The cost is $3 per vehicle ($10 per vehicle with capacity of fifteen or more). Self-pay envelopes are available on site. The Sandia Annual Pass is honored at pay sites, and can be purchased for $30 at the Sandia Ranger Station in Tijeras, the Cibola National Forest Supervisor’s Office in Albuquerque, Charlie’s Sporting Goods, Two Wheel Drive, the Eubank Wal-Mart Sporting Goods Department, and the Academy Wal-Mart Sporting Goods Department. For more information, contact the Sandia Ranger District at 281-3304.