Santa Fe National Forest reports numerous abandoned campfires

New Mexico News

An image of the aftermath of the 2017 Cajete Fire. The Cajete Fire started from an abandoned campfire north of NM State Highway 4 and threatened the community of Sierra de los Pinos. (US Forest Service Santa Fe National Forest)

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Staff at the Santa Fe National Forest are getting frustrated as they say they are finding numerous abandoned campfires despite the recent string of wildfires.

Fire prevention staff say last weekend alone, crews discovered over 45 abandoned campfires. That number doesn’t include last week’s abandoned campfire on the Jemez Ranger District that became a two-acre wildfire.

Abandoned campfires, which are the leading human cause of wildfires, have been found at campsites on the Jemez and Pecos, and Las Vegas Ranger Districts. Staff at the sites are also reporting illegal campfire rings.

While Northern New Mexico has recently seen an increase in precipitation the past winter and spring, SFNF is drying and fire managers state that only one abandoned campfire in the wrong place can put natural resources, as well as lives at risk.

The public is asked to follow Smokey Bear’s campfire safety procedures when extinguishing a fire.

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