High fire danger closes popular NM outdoor spots

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The fear of more fires is forcing the closure of recreation areas across New Mexico.

A long list of new closures went in effect Monday and there is no telling when they might reopen.

The signs went up Monday across Bernalillo County. Some of the most popular places to spend time outdoors are now off limits.

The humidity is too low, the temperature and the danger are too high.

“It is bone dry, pretty much everywhere, we deal with a lot of the Pajarito Mesa, the South Valley, the Bosque all through the metro area, and then obviously the east mountains, it’s bone dry.” Deputy Chief Scott Aragon said.

All open spaces in the East Mountains are also now off limits. And there are more closures.

The popular La Luz Trail and the entire Sandia Ranger District around it is closed.

To the south, the Mountainair Ranger District also shut down

“We see more human caused fires than lightning-caused fires every year. So the human element is that factor that we have to focus on every year,” Dan Ware, with New Mexico State Forestry said. “Whether it’s campfires or use of heavy equipment in areas of heavy grass or weeds … stuff that we can teach folks to get through that fire season and everybody has a part to play when it comes to fire prevention.”

For the Fourth of July weekend, Bernaillo County will have extra crews patrolling the Bosque, the Foothills, and the East Mountains.

They need your help too.

“We know the East Mountains is very good, any time they see or smell smoke, they call us, we’re asking all the community to do that, Albuquerque area, as well as South and North Valley, to be as diligent as they are in the East Mountains,” Aragon said.

For a fire emergency, always call 911. But if you see or smell smoke in an open space you can always call Bernalillo County’s non-emergency number to have it checked out at 505-798-7000.

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