Carson National Forest officials thank public for compliance

TAOS, NM – June 19, 2018 – For Immediate Release. Carson National Forest (CNF) officials thank the general public for adhering to the forest-wide Stage 2 Fire Restrictions in effect since May 23.

Forest officials continue to implement forest-wide restrictions on the 1.5 million-acre forest for public safety and forest health while in high to extreme fire danger.

Even with recent moisture received in some areas and a slight improvement in fuel conditions, the forest is still very dry and restrictions continue to be a necessity at this time.

“I want to personally thank the public for their initiative, not only for their adherence to the restrictions themselves, but for informing others of the restrictions and the importance of staying safe in and around the Carson National Forest,” said James Duran, forest supervisor. “Members of the public are telling people to park in areas devoid of vegetation, be aware of the “no campfire” and “no smoking” restriction, and the special chainsaw operating hours, etc. Because of the joint effort with our visitors, overall compliance is excellent and is considered a key factor in maintaining public access to the Carson.”

With neighboring forests in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado in Stage 3 closures, visitation on the CNF is expected to increase, which can be good for local businesses. This also brings forward a need to continue to communicate with area visitors during the drought and wildfire risk that we are experiencing in Northern New Mexico.

“We ask for assistance from all partners and surrounding community members to help us inform visitors and neighbors of the stage 2 restrictions in place, as well as other local county and town restrictions. If anyone witnesses a fire or any form of non-compliance, we ask that you immediately call the Taos Interagency Dispatch Center at (575) 758-6208.

Several criteria are used to determine when to implement fire restrictions, including fire activity levels, current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, and the availability of firefighting resources. Additional restrictions may be required if conditions warrant. Campfires on the national forest while under fire restrictions is a violation of federal law that requires a mandatory appearance in federal court, consequent fines, and possible jail time.

For more information call (575) 758-6200, or visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/carson/home, or follow on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CarsonNF/. Fire restrictions in New Mexico can be found at https://firerestrictions.us/nm/ and fire updates at www.nmfireinfo.com.                                                              

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