US FOREST SERVICE
Carson National Forest
The Carson National Forest (CAF) is implementing Stage 1 fire restrictions forest-wide at 8 a.m. today, Monday, July 10 due to high fire danger and anticipated worsening conditions with persistent hot and dry conditions. The National Weather Service, Albuquerque Field Office recently released the 2023 Monsoon outlook stating that “Forecast confidence is high for a late monsoon onset with below average and above average high and low temperatures in central and northern NM” indicating continuing high fire danger through the majority of July.
Stage 1 fire restrictions are a proactive way to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfire, protect natural and cultural resources, and enhance public and firefighter safety. Forest managers use several criteria to determine when to implement restrictions, including current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources.
Under Stage 1 restrictions, building or igniting fires, campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves are not allowed on CAF except for developed campsites or picnic areas with permanent fire rings or grills built and maintained by the Forest Service. Campfires are prohibited at all dispersed camping sites on the west side of the forest.
Stoves, grills, lanterns and heaters fueled by propane or other liquified petroleum fuels that can be turned on and off may be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device. The Forest Service recommends that they meet manufacturer’s safety specifications.
Smoking is only allowed in enclosed vehicles or buildings, at developed recreation sites or while standing in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that has been cleared of all flammable material. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on national forests.
The CAF’s developed campgrounds are open for the season. Some require reservations through www.recreation.gov but most are first come/first served. Although Stage 1 restrictions allow campfires in developed campgrounds, visitors are asked to use extreme caution and follow campfire safety procedures. Never leave a campsite until the fire is completely extinguished and cold to the touch.
Forest visitors are asked to use extreme caution when fire restrictions are in place. Violations are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months. Fire prevention and law enforcement will be patrolling, and anyone who violates Stage 1 restrictions will be ticketed.
The forest order that places the CAF under Stage 1 fire restrictions will be posted on the CAF website and available at all CAF offices. All current forest orders are posted on the Alerts and Notices page of the website.