- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, the Santa Fe National Forest, Valles Caldera National Preserve, and NM State Game & Fish properties will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions due to the potential for extreme fire danger.
The restrictions apply to all National Forest System lands within the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve.
“Prolonged high temperatures, low humidity, and current fire activity have really increased the potential for extreme fire danger on the Forest,” said Bruce Hill, Santa Fe National Forest Public Affairs Officer. “We’ve also unfortunately seen a high number of abandoned camp fires already this year even while in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. We need to take added precautions under these conditions to reduce risk to the public, and cultural and natural resources by going into Stage 2.”
Los Alamos County Fire Marshal Brian Nickerson said in an email Thursday that LAFD was anticipating the move.
So what does that mean?
STAGE II FIRE RESTRICTIONS
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or stove fire.
• Using fireworks, explosives or other incendiary devices.
• Operating a chainsaw, or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, is prohibited.
• Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order.
• Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.
• Possessing or using a motor vehicle off roads on federal lands, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
• Violating any state law, that specifically concerns burning, fires, or that which is for the purpose of preventing or restricting the spread of fire
EXEMPTIONS: There are a few, very specific exemptions from these prohibitions. Please contact the land manager for the area of interest, to see if you meet the criteria for an exemption.
VIOLATIONS: Violations of these regulations is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization, or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months or both.
And what does this mean for Los Alamos County?
Nickerson wrote that Camp May and North Mesa Picnic Area are completely restricted from using any open flame to include grills, fire rings or pits. The only type of cooking device being allowed at this time and is subject to change at any time in these two areas are a Coleman-type propane grills top similar to a stove top device that have no open flame associated with the grill and must be used in a barren area.
“We will be allowing at this time and subject to change at any time the following: Urban Park, Rover Park, East Road Camp area is open to use the grills that are onsite only and no other material and devices are to be used. Caution should be used when disposing of any ashes associated with these devises. Water source should be kept close by for use and people are urged to call 911 for any minor event or small fire to ensure the safety and welfare of all,” Nickerson wrote.