Valles Caldera Closes Due To Cerro Pelado Fire In Jemez


NPS News:

The Cerro Pelado Fire started the afternoon of Friday, April 22, and is burning south of Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Santa Fe National Forest. The park is CLOSED until further notice due to the proximity of the fire, ongoing firefighting efforts, upcoming weather events, and the closure of N.M. 4.

Latest information:

Stage II Fire Restrictions in Place for Pueblo Parks Group

As of April 22, Valles Caldera National Preserve and the rest of the Pueblo Parks Group—Bandelier National Monument, Fort Union National Monument, and Pecos National Historical Park—are in Stage II fire restrictions. These restrictions are necessary to help land management agencies reduce fire risk and prevent wildfires.

Under Stage II fire 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 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 (except those engaged in a lawful hunt) 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 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.

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.

Visitors should check the park’s website for alerts.

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