The Los Alamos County Fire Department will issue Stage III Fire Restrictions at 8 a.m. Friday, June 1, which will prohibit access to unpaved trail systems within the County.
Fire danger within the County remains very high to extreme due to drought conditions. Stage III Restrictions will remain in effect until significant moisture and conditions have improved.
The decision to move forward with Stage III Fire Restrictions has been coordinated with local agencies including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Santa Fe National Forest, Bandelier National Park and the Northern Pueblos Association.
The closure order prohibits access to all unpaved trails within Los Alamos County. Camp May and all unpaved trails and trail heads will be closed to the public. The only exception to this will be the Canyon Rim Trail and La Mesa Trail in Los Alamos, and paved access to Overlook Point in White Rock.
The indices that LAFD uses to predict fire danger are at historic levels well before any significant moisture from the seasonal monsoons. Under current conditions, any fire could cause a catastrophic event. With such a dangerously high fire risk, the County wishes to take every precaution to protect the area’s natural and cultural resources, and asks the public to cooperate with the new restrictions.
The following acts are prohibited under Stage III Fire Restrictions until further notice:
- Building or maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, or stove fire on public or private land. Propane grills can be used;
- Smoking. Smoking is allowed in vehicles, homes, and on paved/cleared surfaces only;
- Using fireworks, explosives or other incendiary devices in unapproved areas. Fireworks can only be used on paved/barren areas with adequate extinguishment capabilities;
- Operating a chainsaw in a forested area, or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, is prohibited;
- Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine in forested areas without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order;
- Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame in forested areas. Permit for specific uses can be obtained;
- Discharging firearms except where permitted by the Los Alamos Fire Marshal; and
- Use of unpaved trails within Los Alamos County.
In addition to firefighters, government employees on official duty, and private property owners, additional exemptions for special use permit holders include contractors and others whose business on Forest Service lands does not raise the risk of wildfire.
Violations of Los Alamos County Fire Restrictions are subject to criminal penalty.
Know before you go. The order imposing fire restrictions this Friday will be posted on the Los Alamos County Website. Fire restrictions for Los Alamos County and throughout New Mexico can be found at https://firerestrictions.us/nm/fire and fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information Website at www.nmfireinfo.com.