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New Mexico national forests impose restrictions to reduce danger

by KRQE-TV (Albuquerque) staff reports |

Significant fire danger is rising throughout New Mexico. Forecasters say the record heat – along with chances for dry thunderstorms and wind – are a bad mix.

State and federal officials are already imposing fire restrictions in an effort to prevent a major fire. The Carson, Cibola and Santa Fe national forests began implementing Stage 2 fire restrictions May 20. The restrictions are an effort to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

The restrictions will be implemented forestwide on the Carson and Santa Fe national forests and on the Mount Taylor, Magdalena, Mountainair and Sandia Ranger Districts of the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands.

All three national forests are still welcoming visitors but are asked to use extreme caution when fire restrictions are in place.

Violations are punishable as a Class-B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months.

The fire restrictions are in place until Dec. 31 unless rescinded earlier.