Sparse Snow and Rain Warrant Fire Safety Reminder

Alamogordo, NM (March 22, 2011) – The U.S. southwest is in need of precipitation and the forecast does not offer much improvement. Lincoln National Forest officials would like to remind the public to please be safe when using fire on the Lincoln National Forest and all public lands. The public and Forest personnel cannot prevent all wildfires, but we can take the lead on federal lands to reduce the severity and size of wildfires.
Forest officials have been monitoring conditions across the forest to help determine the need to consider implementing fire restrictions in the near future. A La Nina pattern set up during the 2010 winter and has continued into the 2011 spring season. Rain and snow have been almost non-existent and the chances for precipitation may continue to decline until a Monsoon pattern sets up.
Conditions this year are similar to 2009 fire season and with no end in sight to the dry conditions, above-normal temperatures and winds, we all should recognize these facts and ensure we do not let a wildfire occur.
“We are potentially looking at an earlier than normal fire season” said Robert Trujillo, Lincoln National Forest Supervisor. “Weather predictions are indicating limited precipitation and above normal temperatures for the coming months, which could bring an early fire season,” he said. “We are reviewing the conditions on the ground along with the weather predictions on a daily basis to ensure that we make the most informed decision as possible in regard to restrictions or closures. If conditions continue in the current trend of hot and dry, we will possibly be in restrictions within a couple of weeks.”
The fire danger signs posted along the highways leading to the Lincoln are currently signed “high”.
“We have been developing and conducting prescribed burns on the Smokey Bear, Sacramento and Guadalupe Ranger Districts. Weather permitting, the Lincoln National Forest will continue to reduce the dry grasses, brush and small diameter hazardous fuels through treatments,” said Acting Fire Management Officer, Don Nunley. “These prescribed burns play a vital role in removing excess fuels and will reduce the risk of damage to people, property and ecosystems,” he said.
Robert Trujillo would like to remind the public to please be fire safe and never leave a fire unattended on the Lincoln National Forest, public lands or any New Mexico communities.
Remember, “Know before you go” to get the most out of your New Mexico summertime experience. Do your part, don’t let a wildfire start.
For more information about the Lincoln National Forest, please visit our web site at ??? or visit the Southwest Coordination Center web site at