Gila National Forest lifts Stage 1 Fire Restrictions

Silver City, NM. July 6, 2021.  The Gila National Forest has lifted campfire, welding and smoking restrictions effective Tuesday, July 6 at 0800 a.m. based on the apparent arrival of the seasonal summer monsoons, accompanied by higher relative humidity’s and lower temperatures which have reduced fire danger across southern New Mexico. The forest implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions on April 26, 2021 to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire during extreme drought conditions, low fuel moisture levels and high fire danger.

Forest managers use several criteria to determine when to lift fire restrictions, including current and predicted weather, fire danger indices, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources. The National Weather Service is forecasting “abundant monsoon moisture” with a daily pattern of scattered showers and thunderstorms and potentially continuing well into July.  Please be aware that the active monsoon pattern in place also raises the risk of flash flooding, particularly in burn scars, arroyos and other low-lying areas.

“We want to thank the vast majority of our visitors who have been willing to comply with fire restrictions and forego their campfires in dispersed camping areas,” Forest Supervisor Adam Mendonca.

Although Stage I restrictions on campfires and smoking will be lifted, forest managers urge visitors to continue to use extreme caution around campfires and other potential ignition sources by following campfire safety procedures. Never leave your campsite until the fire is completely extinguished and cold to the touch. 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.

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