NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Last year, as fires ravaged much of Northern New Mexico, families were forced to stay away from campsites. However, this year with fire restrictions lifted, the Forest Service is expecting a busy Labor Day Weekend.

Officials are getting ready for a lot of campers and visitors.

“While some sites do reserve areas for walk-in traffic, we encourage people to plan ahead and also plan an alternate destination in case your first choice is full,” said Forest Service Southwestern Region Recreation, Heritage, and Wilderness Resources Deputy Director Zack Parsons.

Parsons said it was a busier year for camping compared to last summer when the state’s largest fire was burning, and fire restrictions were in place because of the drought.

While July was hot and dry, fire restrictions have recently been lifted after more moisture. Parsons said visitors should make sure to check for any closures or restrictions that might still be in place at some sites.

“All of our fire restrictions have been lifted, so there shouldn’t be any issues there, but there might be other local conditions that might preclude places from opening,” said Parsons.

Bandelier National Monument lifted some of its fire restrictions on Tuesday and is expecting
some of their biggest crowds so far this summer.

“Even though we’ve had a slower summer visitation-wise here at the park, people should still expect to see crowds when they come to Bandelier,” said Bandelier National Monument Recreation Fee Specialist Dave Graveline.

Santa Fe National Forest is another area that lifted their fire restrictions on Tuesday.