SANTA FE, N.M. — The Santa Fe National Forest will reopen to the public next week after being closed for over a month, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Officials say the forest will reopen Monday at 8 a.m. after several days of rain and extra humidity. The forest has been closed since June 1 after the northern part of the state endured a lengthy stretch of extreme drought conditions.
“We noticed conditions starting to improve two weeks ago when moisture levels increased due to higher humidity,” Forest Supervisor James Melonas said. “The recent rain is the beginning of what we can expect to be a good monsoon season.”
Officials say Carson and Cibola National Forests will remain closed, but are being closely monitored to determine when closures and restrictions can be lifted.
Forest managers determine when to implement or lift restrictions or closures based on weather patterns, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources, among others.
Officials say another component is public compliance.
“Good public compliance can equate to a significant reduction in the number of human-cause wildfires,” Forest Fire Staff Officer Lance Elmore said. “Although current and expected conditions exist to allow the forest to open for visitor use, managers ask that everyone to please practice fire safety by extinguishing all camp fires.”
Elmore said five human-caused fires were found in the Santa Fe National Forest during the closure, but none resulted in wildfires.
Officials are asking for the public’s patience as they say it will take some time to remove barriers and open gates for forest access on Monday morning.