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County puts fire restrictions in place

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Bernalillo County commissioners unanimously declared a state of extreme or severe drought on Tuesday and imposed fire restrictions on land that lies outside city limits.

The commission adopted a resolution that bans open flames, campfires and similar activities in the unincorporated area.

There are also smoking restrictions.

Smoking is allowed only in areas that are barren or if the person is in a vehicle. Violating the ban can result in fines up to $300 and up to 90 days in jail.

After the vote, Fire Marshal Chris Gober said in a written statement that the county will have “zero tolerance” for any violations.

“We also ask that residents prepare their property for a wildland fire by creating defensible space around their homes and making sure that their roof gutters are cleaned of any dried leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris,” Gober said. “Move the firewood that you may have stacked on your porch this past winter to at least 20 feet away from your home.”

Gober said his department will consider proposing a measure that addresses fireworks next month.

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