A new license plate coming to New Mexico will help to raise money to fight wildfires in the land of enchantment.

House Bill 251, signed by New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham earlier this year, officially gave the green light to the the new Smokey Bear license plate program.

Smokey Bear has been the mascot for fire prevention for 80 years as of August 9th. The actual bear, (named after the Smokey character), was found in the aftermath of a forest fire, burned and clinging to a tree, in 1950.

It happened in Lincoln county, not far from the area that was recently, again, on fire. Smokey's burns were treated and he was sent to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. where he received so much fan mail, he was given his own zip code.

He died there in 1976 and was buried in an area near the spot where he was first found in Capitan, New Mexico.

Drivers who choose to get the plate will have to pay $50 on initial purchase, then $40 a year. Most of the money will go to the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department for fire prevention efforts. - KVIA 

Recent wildfires in and around Ruidoso have served as a terrible reminder of how quickly wildfires can start and grow out of control; destroying land, property and habitats. Many animals, and sometimes humans, are killed during these firestorms.

It appears the fires were started intentionally and the FBI is offering a $10K reward for info that helps them track down whoever did it. If you would like to donate to help victims of the Ruidoso fires, click here.

Texas Firefighters Honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend

This year’s national tribute by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation honored 89 firefighters who died in the line of duty in 2023 and 137 firefighters who died in previous years. The honorees included these Texas firefighters.

Gallery Credit: Danny Merrell

10 Things to Do for Your Dog if They're Scared By Fireworks

My two big German Shepherds just hated the Fourth of July. My girl Bella used to run into the bathroom, push the shower curtain aside, and lay down in the tub. My sweet guy Zeus who weighed about 100 pounds would try to get in my lap every time I sat down, or would try to hide in the space between the toilet and the tub!

The dog who likes fireworks probably is a good hunting dog too. But, not mine, and not a lot of other dogs on the Fourth of July. But there are things you can do to help your furry kid get through fireworks season without going totally insane.

The American Kennel Club has all kinds of advice on how to get your pooch through the entire summer in good shape. But for the Independence Day holiday, they have 10 tips on how to keep your dog calm.

Gallery Credit: Patty Dee

More From KLAQ El Paso