Lincoln National Forest starts the New Year with a Fire Danger Rating of MODERATE

ALAMOGORDO, RUIDOSO, CLOUDCROFT, and CARLSBAD, NM – January 12, 2018 – Minimal amounts of precipitation and snowpack across the forest over the past few months have contributed to the Lincoln National Forest’s current unseasonably dry fuel conditions.  Fire officials monitor conditions year-round and based on the current conditions, fire danger rating signs across the Forest will display an adjective of MODERATE beginning Tuesday, January 16, 2018. 

A fire danger rating of MODERATE means that fires can start from accidental causes, but the number of starts is generally low.  Fire 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.  Fires that start under these conditions are typically controlled quickly.  

“Last year we transitioned to MODERATE on March 6, 2017, going into the new year at a MODERATE rating is an indicator that we will have an earlier and possibly longer fire season.  As temperatures increase and the windy season materializes, these conditions can largely affect the intensity of the fires and severity of the overall season,” said Ryan Whiteaker, Fire Staff Officer on the Lincoln National Forest. 

There are no fire restrictions in place at this time, but here are a few safety tips:

  • Make sure campfires are DEAD OUT!
  • Park vehicles in area that are paved or bare – not in tall, dry grass.
  • If you smoke, do so in areas that are free of vegetation.
  • Remember, fireworks are always prohibited on public lands.

Additional information about the Lincoln National Forest can be obtained by visiting or calling any of the offices listed below:   

Supervisor’s Office:  3463 Las Palomas Road, Alamogordo, NM  88310; 575-434-7200

Smokey Bear Ranger District:  901 Mechem Drive, Ruidoso, NM  88345; 575-257-4095 

Sacramento Ranger District:  4 Lost Lodge Road, Cloudcroft, NM  88317; 575-682-2551 

Guadalupe Ranger District:  5203 Buena Vista Drive; Carlsbad, NM  88220; 575-885-4181

All offices are open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.  Offices are closed on Federal Holidays.