Officials consider restrictions in bosque due to extreme fire danger

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After a string of fires in Albuquerque’s bosque over the last month and a half, officials are now considering restrictions throughout the summer. This comes amid a bleak outlook for the Rio Grande flow.

The Rio Grande may look promising now, with water levels higher than they’ve been in months, but with an early run off it won’t look like that for long. Mike Hammon the CEO of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District says the river will dry up significantly this year unless we get an early monsoon.

Hammon says this could be one of the driest summers we’ve seen since the early ’80s. Firefighters have already put out five fires along the bosque, between Albuquerque and Los Lunas in the past month and a half. Just Thursday, Corrales Fire Department responded to a campfire burning on their side of the bosque.

“We got reports from a citizen that was walking in the bosque, they noticed evidence of a campfire, and our brush crew went out, they found a hot campfire in the bosque,” said Corrales Fire Chief Anthony Martinez.

That’s why the MRGCD is working with public safety officials to determine if they should implement restrictions or even a full closure of the bosque. “If people are well behaved and obeying the fire restrictions I think we’ll be okay,” said Hammon.

On top of the high fire danger, Hammon says if the drought continues there will be more consequences. “Farmers will be suffering from significant crop loss this year, which we haven’t seen in a long time,” said Hammon.

Hammon says the last time they closed the bosque entirely was back in 2016. He says they expect the extreme fire dangers to continue at leat through July 4. The MRGCD says the last time the river dried up in Albuquerque was the ’80s.

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