ALAMOGORDO, RUIDOSO, CLOUDCROFT, CARLSBAD, NM – With the increase in hotter temperatures and drying winds over the past few days, drier fuel moistures have escalated the potential for an increase unwanted wildland fire starts. Based on current weather and fuel conditions and the increase in public and recreational activities within the Forest during the upcoming weeks, the fire danger rating has elevated to HIGH. The Fire Danger Rating signs across the forest now read “HIGH” (effective Friday, April 7th). This HIGH fire danger rating extends across the entire forest, which includes Smokey Bear, Sacramento and Guadalupe Ranger Districts.
A fire danger rating of HIGH means that fine dead fuels will ignite readily and fires will start easily from most causes. Unattended brush and campfires are likely to escape. Fires will spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common. High-intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuels. Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small in size.
“Although the fire danger rating is transitioning to HIGH, there are still no fire restrictions in place. Forest visitors should be very aware of the conditions on the Lincoln National Forest and do their part to prevent unwanted wildfires,” said Ryan Whiteaker Fire Staff Officer. “As the season progresses, we may still have opportunities to conduct prescribed fire operations on certain projects, but the determination to move forward with ignitions on any given day will be based on site specific prescriptions for each project. The biggest difference between an unwanted wildfire and a prescribed fire is that the prescribed fire is a planned event and fire is used to treat certain fuels under the management of a Burn Boss and firefighting resources that are on scene to ensure that the resource management objectives are being met. Firefighters have the advantage because they are able to control the intensity and rate of spread of the fire. With an unwanted wildfire, firefighters respond to an unknown situation and have to make appropriate on-the –spot decisions as the wildfire progresses,” Whiteaker added.
If you plan to visit the Lincoln National Forest, please follow these safety tips:
- Make sure campfires are dead out!
- Park vehicles in areas that are paved or bare – NOT in tall, dry grass.
- If you smoke, do so in areas that clear of vegetation.
- It’s ALWAYS illegal to possess or use fireworks on public lands.
Additional information about the Lincoln National Forest can be obtained by visiting or calling any of the offices listed below:
Smokey Bear Ranger District, 8 am – 4 pm, Mon – Fri, 901 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso, NM 88345
Sacramento Ranger District, 8 am – 4 pm, Mon – Fri, 4 Lost Lodge Road, Cloudcroft, NM 88317
Guadalupe Ranger District, 8 am – 4 pm, Mon – Fri, 5203 Buena Vista Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220
Supervisor’s Office, 8 am – 4:30 pm, Mon – Fri, 3463 Las Palomas Road, Alamogordo, NM 88310