New Mexico’s South Fork Fire

Athena Intelligence
3 min readJun 21, 2024


Wildfires in New Mexico Today Are Larger than the Area of Manhattan

Lujan Grisham, Governor of New Mexico, has declared an emergency as multiple large wildfires range. The total acreage burned in New Mexico is over 3,000 square miles. The largest fire is the South Fork, shown below.

There are currently 20 large, uncontrolled wildfires nationally. In New Mexico, thousands of people have been evacuated, over 1,500 structures have been destroyed and several people have died.

While we grieve for those who lost their homes and their lives, and send prayers to the firefighters, it provides a real time opportunity to show what Athena saw as wildfire risk to this area.

Fortunately, this area has a low population. Athena evaluates the land looking at everything that influences wildfire behavior for miles around, and then expresses the probabilistic projections of the land’s propensity to host a catastrophic fire — numerically, which can be shown graphically. (People find it easier to understand maps than strings of numbers!)

The colors are tied to probabilities, because this tool was originally optimized for property insurers. It is currently in use in Community Wildfire Protection Plans (the team at Bintel, which has written over 120 CWPPs), power companies (publicly traded, co-op and municipal owned) for vegetation management, wildfire mitigation planning, public safety power shutoffs, etc., and by corporations with multiple locations seeking to understand their landscape risk.

The colors: Green shows areas where the land is almost unable to sustain a wildfire. Yellow and Orange areas have landscapes relatively inhospitable to fire. These areas will burn, if there is an ignition within them, or if they are near fire in the higher risk Red areas.

Accurate and mathematically precise information about future wildfire risk will make informed decisions by underwriters and engineers.

More on New Mexico fires here:

For more examples of how the information can be used, please visit the Case Studies at

Athena Intelligence is a data vendor with a geospatial, conditional, profiling tool that pulls together vast amounts of disaggregated wildfire and environmental data to generate spatial intelligence, resulting in a digital fingerprint of wildfire risk. (website:

Clients include electric utilities, communities, insurance and financial services companies, where Athena’s geospatial intelligence incorporated into wildfire mitigation plans (WMP) and public safety power shutoffs (PSPS), Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP), property insurance underwriting and portfolio risk optimization.

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Athena Intelligence

Athena Intelligence weaves vast amounts of disaggregated environmental data. Drop us a line (, or visit