JEMEZ SPRINGS ― Due to the increased risk of wildfire in the region, the Pueblo Parks Group, which includes Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve, Pecos National Historical Park and Fort Union National Monument, will enter Stage II fire restrictions 8 a.m., Friday, May 4, 2018.
These restrictions are necessary to help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires.
Under Stage II restrictions:
- All fires are prohibited, including campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves. The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, propane grills, or heating devices is allowed three feet or more from flammable material such as grasses or pine needles.
- Smoking is prohibited, except in enclosed vehicles or buildings.
- Welding or operating acetylene or other torches with an open flame is prohibited.
- Operating or using any internal combustion engine off of paved or graveled roads is prohibited. Generators are allowed if equipped with an approved spark arresting device and used in an area that is barren or clear of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the generator.
- The use of all firearms and explosives are prohibited, including but not limited to, fuses or blasting caps, fireworks, rockets, exploding targets, and tracers or incendiary ammunition.
- The operation of motor vehicles off of established roads, motorized trails or established parking areas is prohibited, except when parking in an area devoid or vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
Under these fire restrictions, all campgrounds, trails and public use areas remain open. “While we recognize that these restrictions may impact people’s camping or picnicking plans, they are necessary to protect public health and safety due to the increased fire danger,” Jason Lott, Superintendent of Bandelier National Monument said. “We want the public to continue using and enjoying these parks, but we need them to use caution and help us reduce the risk of human-caused fires.”
Several criteria are used to determine when to implement fire restrictions, including fire activity levels, current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, and the availability of firefighting resources. Fire restriction criteria are routinely evaluated and restrictions could be upgraded or downgraded at any time. Therefore, visitors should check the park’s website for alerts prior to their visit.
Know before you go. Fire restrictions in New Mexico can be found at www.firerestrictions.us/nm and fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com.