NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Now that the states national forests and open space areas are opening back up, many people are ready to head out for the long 4th of July weekend.

“We’re just so excited that the forest opened again because we always like to go camping throughout the whole summer and to lose the time until July was hard,” said Dave Roberts, a camper in the Jemez.

New Mexico’s forests and state parks are expecting larger crowds than usual over the holiday weekend.

“Fire danger on the forest is actually low thanks to this really huge amount of moisture we’ve gotten over the last couple of weeks. And there’s more predicted for this coming weekend, so if people are going to go camping they need to be prepared for showers and thunderstorms,” said Julie Anne Overton, Public Affairs Officer for the Santa Fe National Forest.

Story continues below



But even with the rain, officials want to remind campers to use caution, especially with campfires, and never camp near streams. While the national forests and open spaces have reopened to the public, many campsites near the wildlife areas like Pecos and the Jemez are still off-limits.

“Reserving these group sites, they’re in high demand generally so you have to reserve them quite a bit in advance we reserved this sit back in February or March,” said Zach George, a Jemez camper.

Before you do head out to enjoy the outdoors, you’re encouraged to check the websites for the national forest or state park you want to visit. The forest service will have recreation and fire prevention patrols out to make sure people are safe. Law enforcement will also be out and can write tickets to any violators.