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Official Agency Press Releases and/or Restriction and Closure Orders for New Mexico

Date: July 7, 2014
Gila National Forest Lifts Fire Restrictions
July 07, 2014- Silver City, NM - With the onset of summer rains, the Gila National Forest will be lifting Stage 1 Fire Restrictions on July 08, at 8:00 A.M. MDT, allowing forest visitors to enjoy campfires again in undeveloped areas across the Forest.

“I appreciate how the public took care to be careful with campfires this season, visitors were diligent in following the restrictions and allowed forest personnel to focus on other fires that occurred,” says Forest Supervisor Kelly Russell. The Gila National Forest has suppressed 44 fires for a total of 5,776.30 acres so far this year.

Forest visitors are still encouraged to practice campfire and smoking safety by using ashtrays and ensuring that campfires are cold to the touch before leaving their camp or retiring for the night. Always have a shovel and water available and place your fire away from low-hanging branches and dry grasses.

For further information on fire safety practices or how to reduce fire risks around your home, contact the Gila National Forest at 575-388-8201 or visit the Gila National Forest website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

Date: June 30, 2014
Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts to close on June 30 due to high fire danger

Albuquerque, NM. June 24, 2014.The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands’ Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts are enacting closure orders effective 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 30, 2014. “The districts have been closely monitoring conditions, and based on their assessments and the National Weather Service predictions of ongoing severe drought, I feel it is necessary to close these districts to prevent human-caused wildfires and to protect public health and safety,” said Forest Supervisor Elaine Kohrman.

When closure orders are enacted, all areas of the districts are closed unless specifically listed as open. However, there are some exemptions:

Persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the prohibited act or omission.
Any federal, state or local officer or member of an organized firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
Residents, owners and lessees of land within the restricted area are allowed to enter only to the extent necessary to access their land.

Mountainair Ranger District:The entire district is closed.

Sandia Ranger District: The entire district is closed, except for the following areas, trails and roads. These areas will operate under Stage II fire restrictions, which means that no open fires are allowed.

Open Areas:

Sandia Peak Tram and associated facilities. Visitors are not allowed to access any National Forest lands at the top of the Tram. Visitation will be confined to use of the Tram facilities, the High Finance Restaurant and the observation deck.

Open Trails:

Those portions of Forest Trail 365, including secondary trails associated with Forest Trail 365, outside of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness and South of the Tram.

The Tijeras Pueblo interpretive trail located at the Sandia Ranger Station. Visitors must stay on the official trail.

Open Roads: These roads are only open for residential and through traffic. No one is allowed to park or leave a vehicle while traveling these roads.

Forest Road 242
Forest Road 413
Forest Road 333

Closed Roads: All other roads are closed. That includes Highway 536 (Crest Highway); Highway 165 (Las Huertas Canyon) and Forest Road 445 (Bernalillo Watershed area).

Although the Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts are closed, there are still many places on the Cibola where the public can recreate. Both the Mt. Taylor and Magdalena Ranger Districts are open for hiking, picnicking, mountain biking and camping. However, both districts are in Stage II fire restrictions, so no fires are allowed.

Current fire restrictions for the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands are:

Sandia Ranger District: In Stage II Fire Restrictions; will enact a closure order on June 30.

Mountainair Ranger District: In Stage II Fire Restrictions; will enact a closure order on June 30.

Magdalena Ranger District: In Stage II Fire Restrictions for the Datil, Magdalena and San Mateo Mountains and in Stage I Fire Restrictions for the Bear and Gallinas Mountains.

Mt. Taylor Ranger District: In Stage II Fire Restrictions. The district’s personal woodcutting permit season is delayed.

Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands: No restrictions.
Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands: No restrictions.

For more information, contact:

Sandia Ranger District: 505.281.3304
Karen Takai; e-mail: ktakai@fs.fed.us

Mountainair Ranger District: 505.847.2990
Arlene Perea; e-mail: atperea@fs.fed.us
Adrian Padilla; e-mail: adrianpadilla@fs.fed.us

Forest Supervisor’s Office: 505.346.3900
Ruth Sutton, Public Affairs Officer; e-mail: rsutton@fs.fed.us

Gila National Forest Lifts Fire Restrictions
Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts to close on June 30 due to high fire danger

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