SANTA FE, N.M. — As dry weather conditions continue, the Santa Fe National Forest is implementing forest-wide Stage I fire restrictions, effective Friday at 8 a.m.
Under Stage I restrictions, fires, campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves are allowed only in developed campsites or picnic areas where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided for use.
Campfires are prohibited at all dispersed camping sites. Stoves, lanterns or heaters fueled by propane or other liquefied petroleum fuels may be used in areas cleared of flammable materials within three feet of the device, if they meet manufacturer’s safety specifications and have on/off switches.
Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles or buildings and developed recreation sites. Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forests.
“We ask the public to help protect our forests by being aware of the stage one restrictions and help prevent forest fires,” said Joe Norrell, deputy forest supervisor, in a news release.
“Saturday, an abandoned campfire on the Pecos Ranger District burned 36 acres before fully contained Tuesday morning. To help prevent such instances, we will be increasing patrols during restrictions to increase public awareness and to monitor the forest.”
The Stage I fire restrictions will remain in effect across the Santa Fe forest until Dec. 31 or until rescinded, whichever occurs first.
“We will continue to monitor conditions and lift restrictions as soon as we know it is appropriate to do so,” said Norrell.
Violations of the fire restrictions are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.