ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) – The U.S. Forest Service has announced that due to the onset of monsoon season, fire restrictions have been lifted in the Lincoln National Forest and in the Gila National Forest. This will allow visitors to once again have campfires as the Fire Danger Rating has been dropped from high to moderate.
“Even though we’ve had rain, people still need to be careful with fire,” said Public Affairs Officer Laura Rabon in a press release. “It’s imperative that campers fully extinguish campfires before leaving a campsite.”
Gila National Forest officials urge visitors to always practice fire safety and self-patrolling. “Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said Gila National Forest Fire Management Officer Gabe Holguin in a press release. “Please be extremely cautious with any activity that may cause a wildfire.”
Forest officials remind the public that if campfires are too hot to touch they are too hot to be left. Every campfire should be completely put out before it is left.
Campers are asked to follow these campfire guidelines:
- Clear all flammable material away from the fire a minimum of five feet in all directions
- Only make a fire if you have sufficient water and a shovel to put it out
- Always have a responsible person in attendance
- Never leave a campfire unattended
- Avoid making a campfire during the windy part of the day
- To ensure a campfire is out, drown the fire with water and stir with dirt to make sure all burned materials are extinguished. Touch the area with your hand to make sure it is out cold.
Many New Mexico national forests have closed campgrounds, restrooms, picnic areas, and day use-areas due to COVID-19. Trails remain open and dispersed camping that is not at an established campground and that supports socials distancing in small groups is permitted. A list of open recreation sites can be found on the Lincoln National Forest’s webpage and on the Gila National Forest’s webpage.