Northern New Mexico National Forests To Lift Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Wednesday

SANTA FE, NM – July 27, 2020 – With the onset of the summer monsoons and decreasing fire danger, the Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe National Forests are rescinding Stage 2 fire restrictions, including the ban on campfires, at 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

The forests implemented Stage 2 restrictions, which also included a “hoot owl” provision prohibiting chainsaws between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., on May 20 to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire at a time when fire indices were spiking.

Forest managers use several criteria to determine when to lift fire restrictions, including current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources. The arrival of monsoonal moisture has eased the dry conditions that led to restrictions and lowered fire danger to low.

Now that campfires are again allowed on Northern New Mexico national forests, fire managers remind the public that abandoned campfires are still the leading cause of human-caused wildfires. Forest visitors are urged to follow campfire safety procedures.  It is every camper’s responsibility to properly maintain and extinguish a campfire to prevent wildfires.

Campfire guidelines:

  • Never cut whole trees or branches, dead or alive. Live materials will not burn and dead standing trees, snags, are often homes for birds and other wildlife.
  • Do not burn aerosol cans, pressurized containers, glass or aluminum cans. They could explode, shatter and/or create harmful fumes.
  • Keep the fire to a manageable size.
  • Never leave your campfire unattended.

Ensure campfire is fully extinguished:

  • Allow wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
  • Pour water on the fire. Drown all embers, not just the red ones. Pour until hissing sound stops.
  • If water is not available, stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.
  • Scrape any remaining sticks and logs with a shovel to remove any embers.
  • Continue adding water, dirt, or sand and stir with a shovel until all material is cool.
  • If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave.

Violators of regulations that prohibit abandoning a campfire are subject to a fine and/or imprisonment.  If an abandoned campfire causes a wildfire, violators can also be held responsible for fire suppression costs.

The order lifting Stage 2 fire restrictions will be posted under Alerts and Notices on the Santa Fe National Forest website. Stay up to date on closures and other news by checking the SFNF website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.

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