State to impose fire restrictions for all counties

Posted at: 05/03/2013 12:25 PM | Updated at: 05/03/2013 12:27 PM
By: The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Fire danger is high across New Mexico, and state officials are planning to impose restrictions for all 33 counties.

The restrictions will take effect next Wednesday at 8 a.m. They will prohibit the use of fireworks, campfires and other open fires. Smoking will only be allowed in buildings, on paved surfaces or in vehicles with ashtrays.

Officials say the restrictions will apply on all non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal lands in New Mexico and will remain in effect until rescinded.

New Mexico is coming off back-to-back record-setting fire seasons.

This year, more than 80 percent of the state is grappling with drought conditions that are considered extreme or worse. Soil moisture is nonexistent following a dismal snowpack and spring started off dry and windy.

State Forester Tony Delfin says new fire starts are becoming difficult to control.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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