State Fire Investigators play a vital role in the battle against arson throughout the State of New Mexico. They work with local and state authorities to fight this crime, which affects every New Mexican. State fire Investigators respond to all requests for assistance from local fire departments and law enforcement agencies. New Mexico State Fire Investigators are trained in origin and cause, evidence collection, interviewing, fraud investigation and other aspects of criminal investigation.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is mandated to determine fire origin and cause. During FY 2002 Fire Marshal investigators responded to 53 requests for investigation. Those investigations have resulted in 13 arrests for arson or related crimes. Three investigations involved fire deaths and 15 were determined to be accidental in nature. Most of the investigations were turned over to the FBI, BIA, state law enforcement agencies or local authorities for follow-up.
- The section investigates on the average 300 fires a year.
- The section is currently staffed with 5 investigators.
- Each investigator can easily investigate 70 or more fire scenes.
- Each Fire Investigator carries a large assortment of equipment including, generator, scene lights, evidence collection equipment, video camera, digital camera, sifting screens, lap top, portable printer, and lots of tools.
State Fire Investigators are usually contacted when:
- There is no local fire investigator
- The local investigator needs assistance
- Large fire loss
- Incendiary fires
- The exact cause of the fire cannot be determined
- There is a fire fatality
- Any fire involving fire fighter injury or death
Types of Fires New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office Investigates:
- Any Fatal Fires
- Structural Fires
- Vehicle Fires
- Wild land Fires