(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- New Mexico State Forestry Division officials said wildfires cost the state $13.5 million in fiscal year 2012, ABC affiliate KOAT-TV reports.
The figure dropped from the cost of battling wildfires in fiscal year 2011 -- $22 million. State Forestry officials say there have been more fires on National Forest Island this year, but fewer fires on state and private land. They also said the fire season started later this year.
"We believe that the human element was huge this year in keeping the number of human-caused wildfires down. We need people to stay that intense," State Forestry agent Dan Ware said.
State Forestry officials are still asking people to remain vigilant. They also said a wildfire could break out anytime, even though monsoon season has started.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio