May 15, 2013- Silver City, NM-  The Gila National Forest will be implementing Stage 1 Fire Restrictions beginning on May 21, 2013.  “Forest visitors have been diligent in putting out their campfires and taking care not to spark a human-caused fire,” states Kelly Russell, Forest Supervisor, “but we feel it’s critical to reduce the potential for any additional fire starts during this period of drought and high fire danger.”

Fire restrictions for the Gila National Forest include allowing campfires only in designated developed campgrounds and picnic areas, and must be in a Forest Service provided grill or fire pit.  Fires in rock rings will not be allowed.  The use of  petroleum-fueled stoves, lanterns or heating devices are acceptable, provided they meet the fire underwriter’s specifications for safety.  Smoking is limited to a vehicle, building, or 3-foot area cleared of all flammable materials.  The following campgrounds and picnic areas have been designated for campfire use:
Kingston Campground                                      Juniper Campground
Piñon Campground                                           El Caso Campground
Big Horn Campground                                      Cottonwood Campground
Pueblo Park Campground                                  Grapevine Campground
Lower Scorpion Campground                             Forks Campground
Upper Scorpion Campground                             Sapillo Campground
Upper End Campground                                    Mesa Campground
Lake Roberts Picnic Area                                   Apache Creek Campground
Little Walnut Picnic Areas                                  Cherry Creek Campground
McMillan Campground                                       Iron Creek Campground
Upper Gallinas Campground                              Lower Gallinas Campground
Railroad Canyon Campground                           Catwalk National Recreation Area
Forest personnel strongly encourage extreme care when traveling in the National Forests.  As always, fireworks are prohibited on National Forest System lands.  Please contact Ellen Brown, Fire Prevention Officer at (575)388-8201 or individual districts between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for further details regarding campgrounds and fire restrictions.
Black Range Ranger District-(575) 894-6677         Reserve Ranger District-(575)533-6232
Glenwood Ranger District-(575) 539-2481            Quemado Ranger District-(575)733-4678
Wilderness Ranger District- (575) 536-2250          Silver City Ranger District-(575)388-8201

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Editor's Note

The Grant County Beat continues to bring you new columnists. New this past week are the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a new column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

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