Stage 1 fire restrictions to begin in Santa Fe, Carson National Forests May 24

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Two of New Mexico’s national forests are preparing for increased fire restrictions.

The Santa Fe National Forest and the Carson National Forest will be under Stage 1 fire restrictions starting May 24.

"In the Carson, we have been experiencing a little bit of precipitation lately and a lot of folks can think since there has been precipitation that it’s not dry out there but it is," said Ivan Knudsen, public affairs officer for the Carson National Forest.

Carson said most fires are human-caused, usually by campers.

"Abandoned campfires are actually the number one cause of human-caused wildfire," Knudsen said.

Crews in the Santa Fe National Forest reported more than 30 abandoned campfires over Mother’s Day weekend.

The area is still in a significant drought, which raises fire concerns.

"Fire, campfires, charcoal grills, coal and wood stoves are allowed only at developed campsites," Knudsen reminds people.

Smoking is only allowed in enclosed vehicles or buildings, at developed recreation sites or while standing three- feet clear of all flammable material. Fireworks are never allowed.

Stage 1 fire restrictions went in to place in the Lincoln and Gila National Forests in April