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Parks, forests across NM now open after rains

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Recent monsoon storms have substantially reduced the state’s wildfire danger, persuading officials to reopen parks, forests and open spaces throughout northern and central New Mexico that had been closed for several weeks.

Albuquerque open space properties in the East Mountains reopened Friday after recent rains.

“We’re grateful that the recent rain has reduced the fire danger in the East Mountains and allows us to reopen the city’s open space properties for people to enjoy,” Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement. “We want to thank everyone for their cooperation during the closure. At the same time, we want folks to remain vigilant and take extra precautions to help prevent a fire from flaring up. Most importantly, please call 911 immediately if you see smoke or fire in any of our open space.”

Properties reopened include San Antonito, Milne and Gutierrez Canyon, Juan Tomas, Tres Pistolas and Carolino Canyon open spaces.

Bernalillo County also opened its East Mountain open space properties on Friday.

Those spaces include Ojito de San Antonio, Sandia Knolls, Sedillo Ridge and Sabino Canyon Open Space. Carlito Springs will remain closed for previously planned renovations.

“We are glad to reopen Bernalillo County’s East Mountain open space properties thanks to the recent changes in the weather,” Bernalillo County Fire Marshal Keith Clark said in a statement. “We would also like to remind the public that we remain in a drought condition and all precautions should be taken to keep our open spaces and the forest safe from the effects of fire.”

U.S. Forest Service officials on Friday lifted fire restrictions across the Cibola National Forest.

Manzano Mountains State Park, located within the boundaries of the Cibola National Forest, will reopen at 8 a.m. today.

The park remains under the following Stage II fire restrictions: Camp fires, charcoal and other open flames are prohibited. Pressurized kerosene, white gas or propane devices with a shut-off switch are allowed. Smoking is prohibited except in enclosed cars, RVs or trailers.

Fenton Lake and Hyde Memorial State Parks, within the boundaries of Santa Fe National Forest, reopened Wednesday.

Morphy Lake and Cimarron Canyon state parks and the Las Tusas side of Bluewater Lake State Park remain closed due to national forest closures and extreme fire danger.

El Vado Lake State Park, in Rio Arriba County in the northern part of the state, has closed its remaining boat ramp and is prohibiting the use of motorized boats due to dropping water levels and safety concerns. The lake is still open for activities such as canoeing, paddleboarding or kayaking.

Carson National Forest has reopened, but Stage II fire restrictions and a temporary area closure are in effect.

The area around the Sardinas Canyon Fire will remain closed due to ongoing fire activities. Forest Road 76, off N.M. 518, will be closed, including the La Junta summer homes and the Duran and Upper La Junta campgrounds. Forest Roads 439, 440 and 442 are partly closed.

Santa Fe National Forest reopened and lifted Stage II fire restrictions Monday.

The Bureau of Land Management on Friday lifted fire restrictions on its managed lands in Bernalillo, Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Sandoval, Socorro, Torrance and Valencia counties.

Fire restrictions remain in effect for BLM-managed lands at the Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area and the Lincoln Tracts.

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