Santa Fe National Forest imposes Stage I restrictions

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Submitted to the Optic

The Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve will enter Stage 1 fire restrictions at 8 a.m. Tuesday due to extreme drought conditions and high fire danger.

During Stage I fire restrictions, building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove is prohibited, except in Forest Service developed campgrounds and picnic areas where grills and fire rings are provided.

Also Prohibited is smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site/improved site or while stopped in an area at least 3-feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

The following acts are always prohibited on National Forest System Lands:
• Possessing or using any kind of firework, or other pyrotechnic device.
• Using an explosive.
• Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order.

Violation of these restrictions are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor, a fine of not more than $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations, and/or imprisonment for no more than six months.

The Pecos Wilderness and San Pedro Parks Wilderness areas are exempt from Stage I fire restrictions.