TAOS — The Carson National Forest (CNF) will implement Stage 3 Restrictions over most of the forest, effective 6 a.m. Wednesday, June 27.
Effectively immediately, the Camino Real Ranger District is closed. This immediate closure of the Camino Real District is strictly precautionary, the Sardinas Canyon Fire is not threatening structures nor is it expected to do so.
The remainder of the closure, which includes the Questa, Tres Piedras, El Rito and Canjilon District goes into effect 6 a.m., Wednesday. This partial closure will remain in effect until the forest receives significant moisture and conditions have improved.
The Jicarilla Ranger District will remain in Stage 2 Fire Restrictions and is exempt from the forest closure.
The closure order prohibits all recreational activities on the CNF. Campgrounds, trails and trailheads, and National Forest System roads will be closed to the general public. County and state roads that cross Forest Service lands are not under the Forest Service’s jurisdiction and will remain open to vehicular traffic.
“We have had exceptional compliance from the public and partners, but even with this help the conditions have reached a level that a closure is warranted. In addition fire activity across the country is increasing which means there would be fewer resource available if we had more fires,” CNF Forest Supervisor James Duran said.
In addition to government employees on official duty, firefighters and private property owners, the order may include additional exemptions for special use permit holders, contractors, Native American tribes and others whose business on Forest Service lands does not raise the risk of wildfire. However, forest officials will ask partners that can pause non-essential work to do so until conditions improve.
Violations of the closure order carry a mandatory appearance in federal court and are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months.
Know before you go. The order imposing fire restrictions this Wednesday will be posted under Alerts and Notices on the Carson National Forest website. Fire restrictions in New Mexico can be found at https://firerestrictions.us/nm/ and fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com.
For more information, call Carson National Forest official Jim Gumm at 575.491.6748.