The New Mexico State Forester has banned smoking, fireworks, campfires and other open flames because of the high fire danger.
The ban applies to non-federal, non-tribal and non-municipal land around the state. They took effect Friday and will remain in effect until rescinded.
Abnormally warm temperatures, low humidity, high winds and the abundance of dry fuel material have caused the high fire danger throughout much of the state, according to State Forester Laura McCarthy’s order.
“Fire incidents for all wild land fire agencies are increasing daily,” according to the order.
State statute allows McCarthy to issue the order.
Under the order, smoking is prohibited except in enclosed buildings or vehicles with ashtrays, or on paved or surfaced roads, developed recreation sites, or areas cleared all flammable material for at least 3 feet in any direction.
Fireworks use is prohibited on land with timber, brush, grass, grain or other flammable vegetation. McCarthy is allowing exceptions to the ban on fireworks where they are part of a public exhibit approved by the local fire department.
Campfires are prohibited unless the cooking or heating devices use kerosene, white gas or propane in an improved camping area cleared of flammable vegetation for at least 30 feet or that has a water source. The state forester is also allowing exceptions for charcoal grills and wood and coal stoves inside residential yards or on the premises of a business.
Open burning, i.e., burning of cropland, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles, prescribed burning or weed burning, is prohibited. The State forester grants an exception when all the following conditions are met:
1. The cropland is irrigated;
2. Burning is done with adequate planning;
3. Adequate personnel are present to monitor and control the bum to assure it won’t become an uncontrolled fire:
4. The bum area is secured from becoming uncontrolled at the end of daily operations; and
5. At the beginning of each day, before ignition, the person responsible for the bum notifies the local fire department and follows all local
burning guidelines and state statute for open burning related to state air quality.