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Los Alamos among counties under expanded state fire restrictions--video extras

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico officials are expanding restrictions on fireworks, smoking, campfires and other open fires to all of the state's 33 counties.

State Forester Tony Delfin and New Mexico Energy Secretary John Bemis announced the additional restrictions Thursday. They will go into effect Friday morning.

State restrictions were first enacted in April and included 29 counties where fire danger was highest.

San Juan, Rio Arriba, Taos, Los Alamos and western Colfax Counties weren't included in the original restriction order because those areas had received winter moisture and weren't experiencing high incidence of wildfire.

The restrictions are being expanded due to prolonged drought conditions statewide and high winds.

Bemis says portions of New Mexico have gone months without significant rainfall and as summer progresses, the risk to communities from wildfire is increasing.

Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor Maria Garcia and Valles Caldera Preserve Interim Executive Director Dennis Trujillo announce Stage III fire restrictions for the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, June 24, 2011.


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