AlamogordoTownNews.com The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will implement a forest-wide closure order
SANTA FE, NM – May 17, 2022 – The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will implement a forest-wide closure order at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022, prohibiting public access across the entire 1.6-million-acre forest due to active wildfires and extreme fire danger. The closure order will remain in effect until December 31, 2022, unless it is rescinded earlier.
Forest managers consider several factors before implementing fire restrictions or forest closures, including current fire danger and fire activity, local, regional and national fire preparedness levels, expected weather conditions, availability of firefighting resources, and the economic impacts to businesses and communities. The SFNF coordinates fire restrictions and forest closures with federal, state, tribal and local partners.
All National Forest System lands, recreation sites, roads, trails and trailheads within the boundary of the SFNF will be closed to the general public. County and state roads that cross Forest Service lands are not under the Forest Service’s jurisdiction and will remain open to vehicular traffic. Businesses in local communities will remain open for business during the closure.
The closure order imposing forest-wide Stage 2 fire restrictions remains in effect. Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following activities on the SFNF:
- Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire.
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of vegetation and flammable material.
- Blasting, welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
- Using an explosive of any kind. (Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on national forests.)
- Operating any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, including chainsaws, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
- Driving off designated roads. Visitors may park in areas cleared of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, or in designated parking areas.
Federal, state and local officers, members of an organized rescue team or firefighting force, residents using roads to access private property and any others authorized by permit are exempt from the closure order.
Violations of the closure order carry a mandatory appearance in federal court and 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, or both.
The Carson National Forest and parts of the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands are also implementing Stage 3 forest closures. Stay up to date on SFNF news by checking the SFNF website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.