Carson National Forest implements Stage 1 fire restrictions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – “With how hot and dry as it is, and then throw in the winds that we’re getting, and you know, a few lightning storms, it just made sense,” said Celeste Prescott. 

Celeste Prescott with Carson National Forest is talking about the Stage 1 fire restrictions now in place there. 

“Any place that you are in the forest, you are not allowed to have any kind of fire that is not in a designated ring, that is maintained by the Forest Service,” she said.

Stage 1 restrictions are a proactive way to reduce the chance of human-caused fires.

Now, Carson joins Lincoln and Santa Fe national forests under Stage 1 fire restrictions. Prescott says the slow start to monsoon season could lead to drier conditions.

“Eventually, we’re going to see increases in the drought conditions. That means the vegetation is dry and makes things makes everything very suitable for fires,” said Scott Overpeck from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

Currently, the National Weather Service is forecasting slightly higher temperatures through monsoon season, which lasts through September. Those high temps with slightly less rain than usual is concerning.

“I think the big concern comes in is that we typically get about 40% of our annual rainfall from the monsoon season. So it is a good chunk of our annual rainfall that we get here in Albuquerque,” Overpeck said.

With the wet spring we had, current drought conditions aren’t looking too bad.

Prescott said the fire restrictions don’t have an expiration date right now, but people seem to be acting responsibly while outdoors.

“We do see seem to be seeing a pattern of folks being more responsible out there. and we really appreciate that. Because last year was a real long, hard season on everyone,” said Prescott.