Summer lightning acts as a firestarter in dry conditions
Forest officials increase fire restrictions
The Cibola National Forest is implementing increased fire restrictions. Forest Supervisor Liz Agpaoa explained, “Given the high temperatures and severe dry conditions, we have decided to increase our fire restrictions and not allow fires of any kind on the Cibola National Forest. What’s occurring right now in southern New Mexico reminds us that extreme caution has to be taken this fire season.”
The fire restrictions apply to all Cibola National Forest lands on the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena, and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts, and the Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands in Oklahoma and Texas. The restrictions do not apply to the Kiowa/Rita Blanca National Grasslands.
The following restrictions apply to the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena, and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts:
Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal broiler, or coal or wood stove is prohibited. Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns, and heaters meeting safety specifications are allowed anywhere on the national forest.
Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.
No personal-use firewood cutting will be allowed until further notice. Extensions will be granted to individuals with existing personal use permits.
As always, fireworks are prohibited on all national forest lands.
The Forest Service requests everyone's help to keep the forest free from fires for the duration of this fire season.
For more information concerning the Cibola National Forest, contact Mark Chavez or Karen Carter at (505) 346-3900. Additional fire information may be obtained at www.fs.fed.us/r3/fire or toll free at 1-877-864-6985.
Partial closures dot the Cibola National Forest
In June, many portions of the Cibola National Forest were closed. Fire danger remains extreme and warrants a number of areas to remain closed to visitors. “Closures are a last resort and they are not taken lightly,” stated forest supervisor Liz Agpaoa. “We all must work together to keep our forest as safe as possible, and this includes staying away from areas that have been closed,” she added.
In the Sandia Ranger District, the following areas are affected:
The following campgrounds and recreation sites remain open: La Cueva, Juan Tabo, Las Huertas, Cienega Canyon, Sulphur Canyon, Doc Long, Dry Camp, Balsam Glade, Capulin Spring, Nine Mile, Pine Flat, and Oak Flat recreation day use sites are open. Cedro and Deadman Group Reservation Area Campgrounds are open. Sandia Peak Ski Area, Sandia Crest Electronic Site, Sandia Crest Observation Area, Sandia Peak Tram, High Finance Restaurant and associated facilities, and Sandia Crest House are open. State Highway 536 (Sandia Crest National Scenic Byway) is open. All major roads on the district remain open; however, most secondary roads will be closed.
The following trails and areas remain open: portions of Forest Trail 365 (Foothills Trail), including secondary trails associated with Forest Trail 365 and outside of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness; Sandia Peak Ski Area mountain bike and hiking trails within the ski area boundary only; the Crest Trail (Forest Trail 130) from the Crest House-Crest Observation Area to the Sandia Peak Tram and associated facilities.
La Luz trail will be closed. All other sites, trails, and backcountry areas are closed.
For updated information, contact Mark Chavez at the Cibola National Forest supervisor’s office, (505) 346-3900, or one of the following district offices:
- Sandia Ranger District, (505) 281-3304
- Mountainair Ranger District, (505) 847-2990
- Magdalena Ranger District, (505) 854-2281
- Mt. Taylor Ranger District, (505) 287-8833
- Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands, (505) 374-9652
- Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands, (505) 497-2143
Additional fire information for the southwest area is available at www.fs.fed.us/r3/fire.