BLM fire restrictions set to begin May 11 for Albuquerque District (8 counties and 2.5 million acres affected)

The Bureau of Land Management Albuquerque District Office is implementing fire restrictions on BLM administered public lands in Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval, Socorro, Torrance and Valencia counties.  Due to record warm temperatures, exceptionally dry fuel moisture levels and increasing fire danger, the BLM will implement the following fire restrictions effective May 11, 2018, to help prevent wildfires and ensure public and firefighter safety.

Effective at 12:01 a.m., Friday, May 11, 2018, and until rescinded, the following acts are prohibited:  

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal or wood stove except for: inside established campfire rings and grills within Datil Well and Joe Skeen Campgrounds.

Exceptions: The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices are allowed provided such devices meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety and they are used in areas free of flammable materials.

  1. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site/improved site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  2. The use/discharge of explosives of any kind, incendiary or chemical devices, pyrotechnic devices, fireworks or exploding targets.
  3. Cutting or grinding metal, or using a welder, either arc or gas, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except in areas cleared of flammable materials at least 10 feet in diameter and equipped with a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
  4. Operating a chainsaw or any other internal or external combustion engine without a USDA or SAE approved spark arrester properly installed and working, using a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
  5. Possessing or using a motor vehicle off roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.

To view the Fire Prevention Orders, please go to https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/new-mexico/fire-restrictions.

“We want everyone to continue to enjoy their public lands,” says Danita Burns, BLM Albuquerque District Manager.  “However, we call upon you as good stewards to do your part.  Always take care when you are recreating, especially during these recent weather conditions.  Remember, what you do affects us all.”

Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to 12 months.  As summer continues, additional restrictions or closures may be necessary.  Check for updates at www.nmfireinfo.com.

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