Santa Fe, NM

Santa Fe, Carson National Forests Are Closing to the Public

Daniella Cressman

Wildfires are already raging, even though it's extremely early in the year.

As a result, Carson National Forests are being closed to the public as the firefighters continue to fight the flames and attempt to control the blazes across the state.

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The Santa Fe and Carson national forests will implement forest-wide closures this week as the largest wildfire in state history continues to grow across northern New Mexico. The Cibola National Forest and Grasslands will also close the Mount Taylor, Mountainair and Sandia ranger districts to the public. An extreme and early fire season prompted the closures, said Zachary Behrens, a Carson National Forest spokesperson. High temperatures this spring are “preheating wildland fuels.” “That makes things more volatile for existing fires, but also any new fire that may start,” Behrens said. All closures will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 19. New Mexico’s forests are in extreme fire danger as the state endures another dry, hot and windy week. More than 2,000 personnel are fighting the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire. Officials say they are trying to prevent any new fires from starting. —Theresa Davis

If you are tempted to break the rules, you will face a heavy fine if you are caught.

Closure order violations carry fines of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, as well as mandatory federal court appearances and possible jail time. —Theresa Davis

Unfortunately, the Carson Forests will be closed until December 31st of this year unless conditions improve because—despite the mild amount of rain our state got on Monday—we are likely in for a hot and dry summer, making New Mexico vulnerable to wildfires.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

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