Crews on high fire alert this holiday weekend

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – From the West Mesa to the East Mountains and everywhere in between, several agencies are working to make sure this weekend’s celebrations don’t spark a huge problem.

Inspectors with AFD’s Fire Marshal’s Office have been hitting the streets to check out fireworks tents and keeping an eye on the skies for illegal fireworks.

“We go on patrol the night before, the night of, and the night after the Fourth of July,” Inspector Michael Royce told KRQE News 13.

Thursday night AFD took 72 calls for illegal fireworks. That’s up eight from July 3 last year.

With the ongoing drought, high heat and wind, even the start of the monsoons isn’t diminishing concerns throughout the metro.

Forest Service officials say the sporadic rain hasn’t been enough to open the Sandia and Mountainair Ranger Districts in the Cibola National Forest. They also say recent lightning storms may have sparked small fires that could come to life soon.

All Bernalillo County open spaces in the East Mountains have also been closed.

While AFD says the bosque will stay open, the department is ramping up patrols to cruise the area through the weekend.

Just up the road, Corrales opted to close its portion of the bosque this week. It’s tentatively scheduled to reopen July 9.

After the fireworks end Friday night, AFD says crews will stay out for lightning strike patrol.

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