Fire Danger Elevates to “Moderate” on Sacramento Ranger District

LNFALAMOGORDO, NM – February 27, 2014 – Due to the combination of low moisture, persistent drought, warm weather in southern New Mexico, the Lincoln National Forest’s Sacramento Ranger District’s fire danger rating has been elevated to MODERATE; the Smokey Bear Ranger District rating is also  MODERATE, while the Guadalupe Ranger District’s fire danger rating remains HIGH. The descriptive adjective ratings are: Low, Moderate, High, Very High and Extreme and are likely to continue to increase as summer approaches.

The fire danger rating helps describe the general conditions over an extended area. The HIGH rating indicates that all fine fuels, such a grass, can ignite easily and fires can start quickly from most causes; unattended campfires are likely to escape; fires can spread rapidly and short-distance spotting is common; high intensity burning may develop on slopes or in concentrations of fine fuels; fires may become large and their control difficult unless they are attacked successfully while small.

A fire danger rating of MODERATE means that fire can start from accidental causes, but the number of starts is generally low. Fires in open, cured grasslands will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days.  Timber fires spread slowly to moderately fast. The average fire is of moderate intensity, although heavy accumulations of fuels will burn hot. Short-distance spotting may occur, but is not persistent. Fire starts under these conditions are typically controlled quickly.

If you plan to visit the Lincoln National Forest, please follow some simple safety tips:

  • Make sure campfires are dead out!
  • Spark arrestors are required on chainsaws and off-road vehicles.
  • Don’t park vehicles on dry grass.
  • If you smoke, do so in areas that clear of vegetation and don’t toss cigarettes out.
  • Remember, it’s ALWAYS illegal to possess or use fireworks on public lands.

 

For information about the Lincoln National Forest, call 575-434-7200, Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. Visit www.fs.usda.gov/lincoln  Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LincolnUSForest