SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST
Thanks to recent precipitation and decreasing fire danger, the Santa Fe National Forest has lifted campfire and smoking restrictions on Friday, July 14, at 8:00 a.m. The forest implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions on June 23 based on dry conditions and higher-than-normal temperatures.
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 decreased fire danger to moderate.
“We want to thank all our visitors who were willing to forego campfires to help us reduce fire danger during the Stage 1 restrictions,” Forest Supervisor James Melonas said. “Since conditions have improved and fire danger is much lower, we are lifting restrictions tomorrow in time for what I’m sure will be a busy weekend on the forest. But we ask visitors to always be aware that campfires are the leading cause of human-caused wildfire.”
The recent Cajete Fire in the Jemez Mountains that forced more than 200 families to evacuate their homes was caused by an abandoned campfire. Fire managers on the forest urge visitors to follow campfire safety procedures. Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave. If you spot an abandoned campfire, try to extinguish it and call 911 to report it.
Summer is the perfect time to recreate on public lands. But it is also fire season in the Southwest. 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. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on national forest lands.