Lincoln National Forest’s Fire Danger elevates to EXTREME

ALAMOGORDO, RUIDOSO, CLOUDCROFT, CARLSBAD, NM – May 17, 2018 – The current Fire Danger Rating on the Lincoln National Forest has elevated to EXTREME, Forest-wide. As a result of the current conditions, the Smokey Bear and Sacramento Districts will elevate to Stage II Fire Restrictions effective Friday, May 18, 2018; and the Guadalupe District will implement Stage I Fire Restrictions, effective Friday, May 18, as well, and by May 18th, the Fire Danger Rating signs will indicate a fire danger of EXTREME across the Forest.

 EXTREME Fire Danger means that fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. Development into high intensity burning will usually be faster and occur from smaller fires than in the very high fire danger class. Direct attack is rarely possible and may be dangerous except immediately after ignition. Fires that develop headway in heavy slash or in conifer stands may be unmanageable while the extreme burning condition lasts. Under these conditions the only effective and safe control action is on the flanks until the weather changes or the fuel supply lessens.

 “The implementation of fire restrictions is based on the current conditions within a geographical area and the goal is to help minimize human-caused fires during the peak fire season, which generally includes the end of May, June and early July, said Ryan Whiteaker, Fire Staff Officer, “we anticipate fire activity to increase, especially during the upcoming lightning season and minimizing or eliminating human-caused fires will contribute to the overall firefighting effort,” Whiteaker added.

 Under Stage II Fire Restrictions (Smokey Bear and Sacramento Districts), the following are prohibited:  building, maintaining, or attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove; smoking – except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material; using explosives; operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order; welding or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame; possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads and motorized trails (as shown on the motorized vehicle use map); and discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations. ALSO PROHIBITED:  operating a chainsaw, or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

 Under Stage I Fire Restrictions (Guadalupe District), fires, campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves are allowed only in developed campsites or picnic areas where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided for use. Campfires are prohibited at all dispersed camping sites. Stoves, lanterns or heaters fueled by propane or other liquefied petroleum fuels may be used in areas cleared of flammable materials within three feet of the device, if they meet manufacturer’s safety specifications and have on/off switches.  Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles or buildings and developed recreation sites. 

 Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forests.

 Visit www.fs.usda.gov/lincoln follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LincolnUSForest  

 The Lincoln National Forest’s official orders (in their entirety) will be posted on https://firerestrictions.us/

 KNOW BEFORE YOU GO. Fire restrictions in New Mexico can be found at https://firerestrictions.us/nm/ and fire updates are posted on the New Mexico Fire Information website at www.nmfireinfo.com.