Fire Restrictions Set for BLM Public Lands

Las Cruces/Roswell – Prolonged high temperatures, low humidity and spring winds have increased the fire danger at lower elevations in southern and southeastern New Mexico. As a result, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is enacting fire restrictions, effective Wednesday, April 13th, to help prevent wildfires and ensure public and firefighter safety.

The fire restrictions cover public lands managed by the BLM’s Pecos District in Chaves, Curry, DeBaca, Eddy, Guadalupe, Lea, Lincoln, Quay, and Roosevelt Counties and for the Las Cruces BLM District Office areas in Otero, Luna, Dona Ana, Sierra, Grant, and Hidalgo Counties.

Effective at 8:00 a.m., April 13, 2011, and until rescinded, the following acts are prohibited:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, except within a developed recreation site or improved site.
2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, in a developed campsite, or in an area three feet in diameter, cleared of all flammable materials.
3. Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic or incendiary device.
4. Operating a chainsaw without an approved spark arrester and without a chemically pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounce capacity by weight, and one round point shovel. The extinguisher will be with the equipment operator. The shovel may be kept with fueling supplies but readily available for use.
5. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame, except within an area that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials at least 10 feet on all sides from equipment.

These restrictions have been coordinated with the other land management agencies, the New Mexico State Forestry division, and affected counties. Fire Prevention Orders are available at each District Office and will be posted to www.publiclands.org/firenews/NM.php. As summer approaches, additional restrictions or closures may be necessary; check for updates at www.nmfireinfo.com .