The Carson National Forest has set Stage 1 fire restrictions forest-wide in anticipation of a late monsoon season for central and northern New Mexico.
Stage 1 restrictions involve limitations on campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves in wilderness areas administered by the Carson National Forest; they will be allowed on “developed campsites or picnic areas maintained by the Forest Service” according to a July 5 press release. Campfires will be prohibited at “all dispersed sites on the west side of the forest.”
The National Weather Service published the status of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in its 2023 Monsoon Outlook and projects equatorial seas-surface temperatures above average across the east-central and eastern Pacific Ocean which means warmer temperatures for the western United States.
The ENSO, more commonly referred to as El Nino, is a break in the normal cycle of the Pacific Ocean’s tradewinds that move warmer water east to west across the equatorial Pacific. According to the National Weather Service, El Nino conditions are expected to “gradually strengthen” into the northern hemisphere’s 2023-24 winter.
The Forest Service recommends clearing an area of all debris and flammable material before igniting a fire. Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited in national forests.
Violations of fire Forest Service fire restriction are punished as a Class B misdemeanor with fines up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or imprisonment up to six months.
The Forest Service wishes to remind camping enthusiasts who utilize campfires to never leave a campground until their fire is completely extinguished.