Carson National Forest steps up fire restrictions

Stage 2 limits on fires in the forest begin Wednesday


Managers with the Carson National Forest announced Monday (May 21) they will impose more limits on fires in the forest effective Wednesday (May 23).

The forest went into its first round of fire restrictions just two weeks ago, May 7.

Under the Stage 2 restrictions, no fires are allowed within the forest; this includes campfires, charcoal, coal or wood stoves, according to a press release from the forest. Petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns, propane gills or other heating devices are OK. 

Other banned activities include:

    •    Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building 

    •    Discharging a firearm, except while engaged in a lawful hunt pursuant to state, federal or tribal laws and regulations

    •    Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads - exceptions:  parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway or overnight parking in Forest Service developed campgrounds and at trailheads

    •    Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device

    •    using an explosive

    •    Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine between 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    •    Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device that is properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order. They must meet either USDA Forest Service or appropriate Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) recommended practice.

    •    Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with an open flame

"Campfires on the national forest while under fire restrictions is a violation of law that requires a mandatory appearance in federal court, consequent fines, and possible jail time," read the Monday press release from the forest. 

The restrictions will remain in effect until weather and moisture conditions change, forest managers said. If conditions do not improve, the forest could enter Stage 3 restrictions, which is a full closure of the forest to activities of any kind.

For more on this story, see the May 24 edition of The Taos News.