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ALERT: Los Alamos County Moves Under Stage I Fire Restrictions

on May 9, 2013 - 10:04am

COUNTY News:

Effective immediately, and in concert with the New Mexico Forestry Division, Los Alamos County is under Stage I Fire Restrictions.

The following acts are prohibited until further notice:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using an open fire, campfire, charcoal or wood stove on all Los Alamos County lands. (See Exemption 1 below)
  • Smoking is prohibited except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

Stage I Exemptions:

  • Developed campgrounds with metal grills using charcoal or propane are acceptable on North Mesa campgrounds, at Overlook Park and at any park within the Los Alamos County proper, to also include all residential property within Los Alamos County. The Los Alamos County Fire Department urges the public to take every precaution necessary on all properties to prevent a fire.
  • Persons with a written permit from the State Foresty Office (505-476-3353) that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  • Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
  • Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity.

Baseline Restrictions:

  • Fireworks and incendiary devices are never allowed on federal public lands.
  • National Parks, Monuments, Preserves and Wildlife Refuges host year round fire restrictions. Contact Bandelier National Park and Valles Caldera if you plan to visit for specific restrictions.

The Los Alamos County Fire Department continues to partner with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Valles Calderas National Preserve, Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico State Forestry and will closely monitor local wildfire conditions. Residents will be advised if/when these conditions change.

RED FLAG WARNING:

WHAT IS A RED FLAG WARNING?

A Red Flag Warning is issued by National Weather Service (NWS) to call attention to critical weather conditions that may result in extreme fire behavior.

Critical weather conditions include: sustained winds, low relative humidity, high temperatures and high fire danger. A combination of any of these conditions must occur simultaneously for three or more hours across any portion of a fire weather zone.

WHEN AND WHY IS THE RED FLAG FLYING AT SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST AND OTHER AGENCIES’ OFFICES?

A red flag will be flown only when the NWS has issued a Red Flag Warning for the area. The flag will forewarn the public on the day that actual weather conditions are favorable to wildfires, extreme burning conditions, and/or exceptional fire behavior.  

WHAT SHOULD I DO DURING A RED FLAG WARNING?

Always observe local fire restrictions and closures – they are put into effect to protect lives and property during dry, fire-prone periods. And, as always but especially during Red Flag Warning periods, be extremely careful with activities that:

  • Involve open flames (smoking, campfires, ditch burning, etc.)
  • Generate sparks (welding, weed-whacking, lawn mowing, etc.) or
  • Create intense heat (Don’t park on dry grass – your catalytic converter is hot, etc.)

             WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT RED FLAG WARNINGS IN MY AREA? http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/


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