Fire restrictions set to go into effect for Cibola National Forest Districts
Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands Forest Supervisor Elaine Kohrman announced that the Sandia, Mountainair, Mt. Taylor and Magdalena Ranger Districts will begin Stage I fire restrictions this Monday, May 5 at 8 a.m.
"Due to ongoing drought conditions and increasing fire danger, these restrictions are necessary to prevent human-caused wildfires and to protect public health and safety," Kohrman said.
Stage I fire restrictions include:
â€¢ Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, except within a Forest Service developed recreation site or improved site. Exceptions: The use of petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices are allowed providing such devices meet the fire underwriter's specifications for safety.
â€¢ Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, at a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
â€¢ Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.
The following are exempt from Stage I fire orders on public lands managed by the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands:
â€¢ Persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
â€¢ Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
â€¢ Resident owners and lessees of land, and holders of Forest Service recreation special use authorizations, within the restricted area are exempt from Restriction No. 1 above, provided such fires are within a permanent structure.
Kohrman said that district employees regularly analyze conditions to assess the dryness of the vegetation by monitoring temperatures, humidity and precipitation. This information is used to determine whether fire restrictions are enacted, elevated or removed.
Although the districts will be in fire restrictions, there are many activities that can still be enjoyed, such as picnicking, hiking and camping. However, please use extreme caution when you're on the forest, as conditions are very dry and wildfires can start from unattended campfire, smoldering cigarettes or sparks from engines.
Current fire restrictions for the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands are:
â€¢ Magdalena Ranger District: Will begin Stage I Fire Restrictions on May 5, 2014.
â€¢ Mt. Taylor Ranger District: Will begin Stage I Fire Restrictions on May 5, 2014.
â€¢ Mountainair Ranger District: Will begin Stage I Fire Restrictions on May 5, 2014.
â€¢ Sandia Ranger District: Will begin Stage I Fire Restrictions on May 5, 2014.
â€¢Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands: In Stage II Fire Restrictions.
â€¢ Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands: In Stage II Fire Restrictions.
The current fire restriction orders can be found on the Cibola's website http://www.fs.usda.gov/cibola in the "Alerts and Notices" section. In addition, fire restrictions information is also posted on a new national fire restriction website http://firerestrictions.us.