SILVER CITY, NM; April 18, 2014 – The Gila National Forest will begin campfire and smoking restrictions Tuesday, April 22 at 8:00 a.m. These restrictions are deemed necessary to provide for public safety and help prevent human-caused fires. The restrictions are:
1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal or woodstove, EXCEPT within a Forest Service developed recreation or improved site in a Forest Service provided grill or stove.
2. 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 barren or cleared of all flammable material.
3. Fireworks are always prohibited on National Forest land.
The factors officials consider before entering into restrictions include current and predicted weather, fuel moisture and fire activity levels. Kelly Russell, Gila Forest Supervisor says, "Given current environmental conditions and recent fire activity, we feel it necessary to implement these restrictions to reduce the potential for human-caused fires and we ask the public for their assistance."
The restrictions will remain in place until significant precipitation falls and fire danger levels decrease.
When visiting your public lands, please remember to take a few extra precautions:
· Know Before You Go. Before going hiking or camping, check for fire restrictions and closures in the area. Direct your inquiries to the agency that manages the public lands you are visiting.
· Be careful of parking or driving your vehicle in tall, dry vegetation. Hot vehicle parts may start a fire.
· If you see smoke or fire, note the location and report it to authorities. Do NOT attempt to put out a fire by yourself.
Remember, One Less Spark, One Less Wildfire. For additional information on fire restrictions on the Gila National Forest, call Ellen Brown, Fire Prevention Specialist, 575-388-8262.