N.M. State Forester lifts fire restrictions

Updated July 27 at 3:47 p.m.

Recent rains have dampened New Mexico down enough that the state's Forestry Division has lifted restrictions on campfires, smoking and fireworks for all non-municipal, non-federal, and non-tribal lands.

The town of Taos and Taos County still had fire restrictions in place Monday (July 27), including a ban on open burning and smoking outdoors. Those restrictions may change depending on conditions.

The Bureau of Land Management announced Monday it is lifting fire restrictions.

The state's easing of fire restrictions went into effect Friday (July 24).

“Increased precipitation from the monsoon is beginning to quell the fire danger enough that we feel it is safe to lift fire restrictions put in place on May 13,” said New Mexico State Forester Laura McCarthy in a statement. “Nevertheless, we urge continued caution because there is always a chance a wildfire can start. This is especially true right now in northern and eastern New Mexico where we are seeing the impact of climate change and drought conditions in many areas.”

The U.S. Department Agriculture announced also announced on Monday that Stage 2 fire restrictions, including a ban on campfires, will be lifted Wednesday (July 29) for Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe National Forests.

"The forests implemented Stage 2 restrictions, which also included a 'hoot and howl' provision prohibiting chainsaws between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., on May 20 to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire at a time when fire indices were spiking," reads a press release from the USDA, which warned that abandoned campfires remain a leading cause of human-caused fires.

Carson officials also remind campers that while campgrounds are open and dispersed camping is allowed, people need to pack out all of their own trash, including human and pet waste. "Anything that did not originate in the Forest will need to be taken back out of the Forest," said Carson National Forest officials in a statement, who urged campers to protect the forest.

Dispersed camping opportunities outside of developed sites are available provided you follow Leave No Trace practices: https://www.fs.fed.us/lei/no-trace-ethics.php.

For more information regarding fire restrictions and tips on wildfire prevention in New Mexico, log on to http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SFD/ or https://firerestrictions.us/.

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