Fines and possible jail time
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — National forests around New Mexico are imposing campfire restrictions to protect the health and safety of employees and communities during the coronavirus outbreak.
Forest officials from Taos to Alamogordo announced Wednesday that campfires will be prohibited through June 30 on all five forests and on national grasslands in New Mexico and neighboring Oklahoma and Texas.
They’re taking the step to prevent the drawdown of fire and medical resources to unwanted human-caused wildfires and to reduce firefighter exposure to COVID-19.
“While we know that going outside provides forest and grassland visitors needed space, exercise and satisfaction, we are taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously,” said James Duran, the supervisor on the Carson National Forest. “We are providing some recreation opportunities where we can while protecting and keeping employees, the public and our communities safe from the virus and unwanted human-caused wildfires.”
Violating the campfire restriction may result in an appearance in federal court, fines and possible time in jail.
While the restrictions are in place, the majority of the five forests in New Mexico are still open and camping outside of developed sites is allowed.
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