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New Mexico forester lifts fire restrictions due to monsoons

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico State Forester Laura McCarthy said Friday that summer rains are starting to put a dent in the fire danger so she decided to lift fire restrictions.

The restrictions had been in place since mid-May for all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands.

McCarthy urged people to still be careful, saying there’s always a chance a wildfire can start. She pointed to northern and eastern parts of New Mexico where drought conditions have been the most severe.

The Forestry Division will continue monitoring conditions statewide and could reimpose restrictions if the fire danger worsens.

Some national forests in New Mexico also have lifted their bans on campfires, citing the extra moisture from the monsoons.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque issued a flash flood watch on Friday, saying a rather moist monsoon pattern had setup over western and central New Mexico and there was increasing concern about the potential for flooding. They said additional watches may be necessary over the next few days.