AP News, News, Wildland Firefighting

Forest in NM Back in High Fire Danger

SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — The national forest that covers much of mountainous southwestern New Mexico again faces a high fire danger, officials said.

The Gila National Forest headquartered in Silver City said Thursday that’s due to warm temperatures and limited precipitation from what turned out to be a below-average monsoon season.

Officials said a “high” fire danger rating means that all fine dead fuels ignite readily and that fires start easily from most causes. Also, unattended brush and camp fires are likely to spread.

Forest officials urged hunters, campers, woodcutters and other forest users to be vigilant of conditions and to avoid using anything with an open flame or spark.

The forest on July 23 rescinded a campfire ban once the fire danger rating returned to a moderate level.

The Forest Service’s Southwestern Region had imposed a campfire ban on April 15. The region includes national forests in Arizona and New Mexico.