Las Conchas Fire Area Closures and Hazards

SFNF News:

  • Before visiting your public lands, “Know Before You Go”. Call ahead and check conditions.

The Santa Fe National Forest reminds the public that even though it is winter and snow is on the ground, the Las Conchas Fire Area restrictions are still in effect on the Jemez Ranger District due to existing safety hazards and risk for resource damage.

Motorized travel is restricted to roads that have been assessed and cleared of major public safety hazards. However, currently the roads are temporarily closed due to snow and road surface protection.

Only FR 289 from N.M. 4 to the junction of FR 36, and FR 36 leading into Cochiti Mesa are open to the public. Most Jemez Ranger District roads typically open in mid-April when the snows are melted and road surfaces are dry.

The entire burn area on national forest land is open to non-motorized uses, including pedestrian travel, horses and mountain bikes.

Trails on the Jemez Ranger District have been severely damaged due to post fire flooding. Standing burned trees that could fall pose a significant risk to anyone traveling in the fire area, except on roads that have been cleared of hazard trees. It is also important to note, vehicle camping is not permitted off designated open roads in the fire area.

Though some areas have been deemed safe for public use, the Forest Service reminds visitors that entering the forest presents risk and requires good situational awareness for any potential hazards. Standing burned trees that could fall on vehicles pose a significant risk to anyone driving on roads that have not been cleared of these hazards.

Please be aware that burned and dead trees can fall at any time, stump holes may be hidden by debris, and falling rocks caused by the heat of the fire can break off and roll downhill. Also note that flash flooding is likely during heavy rains.

The Las Conchas fire, the second largest fire on record in the State of New Mexico, started on June 26, 2011 as the result of a wind thrown tree striking and shorting out a power line. The fire burned more than 156,500 acres on land managed by the Jemez, Espanola and Coyote Ranger Districts of the Santa Fe National Forest, Jemez Pueblo, Santo Domingo Pueblo and Santa Clara Pueblo lands, Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve lands, Los Alamos National Laboratory lands, as well as numerous private inholdings.

Please call the Jemez Ranger District Office at (575) 829-3535 before visiting the forest to receive updates on which forest roads are open.

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