Los Alamos County Fire Marshal Wendy Servey clarifies that the use and access of all public trail systems, unpaved roads, and open spaces on public or private lands within the County are prohibited during Stage 3 Fire Restrictions.
This includes Pajarito Mountain and Rendija Canyon (except access to shooting range indoor programs and residents); however, this road would be opened in the event of an evacuation.
The Fire Marshal’s Order issued on May 5, 2022 directed and invoked her authority to protect people from the extreme fire danger that exists within Los Alamos County.
The closure is due to historically dry conditions. Tracking and rescuing recreational users of the trails and open spaces, should a new fire ignite, will be difficult to nearly impossible given the rapid rate the fire could spread.
Servey states, “One does not have to look very far to realize that conditions exist to support large fire activity. Erratic winds, extended drought, and dry fuels of the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire allowed it to travel one mile per minute. Fuels are critically dry and coupled with record low humidity levels makes the probability of ignition very high.”
Additionally, it is anticipated the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will move to Stage 3 Fire Restrictions in the next few days.
Servey acknowledges that this is inconvenient for residents who want to enjoy outdoor trails; however, public safety must be the department’s top priority. Servey said she appreciates citizens’ compliance with the order.