A combination of low moisture, persistent drought, winds and warm weather in southern New Mexico has prompted Lincoln National Forest fire officials to elevate the fire danger rating to HIGH. All three districts, Smokey Bear, Sacramento and Guadalupe are experiencing conditions that warrant the “HIGH” fire danger rating, which will be displayed on all forest-wide fire danger rating signs, effective Friday, April 1st.
The fire danger rating helps describe the general conditions over an extended area. The HIGH rating indicates that all fine fuels, such as grass, can ignite easily and fires can start quickly from most causes; unattended campfires are likely to escape; fires can spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common; high intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuels; fires may become large and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small.
If you plan to visit the National Forest, please follow some simple safety tips:
- Make sure campfires are dead out!
- Spark arresters are required on chainsaws and off-road vehicles.
- Don’t park vehicles on dry grass.
- If you smoke, do so in areas that are clear of vegetation – don’t toss cigarettes out!
- Possession or use of fireworks on public lands is illegal.
There are no fire restrictions in place on the Lincoln National Forest at this time, however conditions are being monitored daily to determine if and when fire restrictions may be implemented. Fire restrictions are generally considered when HIGH and EXTREME fire danger is predicted to persist. Additional factors that are considered include the level of human-caused fire occurrences, such as Memorial Day and the Fourth-of-July, and the amount of large fire activity occurring within our local and regional area.
For more information about the Lincoln National Forest, call 575-434-7200, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/lincoln Follow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/LincolnUSForest