LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Bureau of Land Management Las Cruces District is implementing fire restrictions on May 2, 2022, to reduce the risk of wildfire on public lands in Doña Ana, Otero, Luna, Sierra, Grant and Hidalgo counties. When visiting public lands, visitors need to be aware of the prohibited acts in the fire restrictions, which will remain in effect until further notice.
Prohibited acts include:
- Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove, including in campgrounds and picnic areas. Allowed: The use of stoves fueled by pressurized liquid or gas (can beturned off) within areas cleared of flammable materials at least 10 feet in diameter
- Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
- Operating a chainsaw or any other internal or external combustion engine without a United States Department of Agriculture or Society of Automotive Engineers approved spark arrester properly installed and working, a chemical pressurized fire extinguisher of not less than 8 ounces capacity by weight, and one round point shovel with an overall length of at least 36 inches.
- Possessing or using a motor vehicle off roads, except routes in areas open to Off-Highway Vehicle travel and except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway.
- Any “hot work” conducted by authorized contractors or permittees for, by or on BLM will follow permit stipulations provided by the BLM.
- Possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic or incendiary device and exploding targets is already prohibited year-round by statewide order on BLM lands.
The purpose of this order is for the protection of public health and safety by minimizing chances for wildfire starts. Abundant dry fuels, high fire danger, and worsening fire conditions, has prompted this action.
The use of exploding targets and fireworks is already prohibited on all BLM lands in New Mexico by statewide order annually. All BLM New Mexico prevention orders can be found here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-aviation/regional-info/new-mexico/fire-restrictions.
Exemptions to the restrictions include: Any federal, state, local and/or military employee acting within the scope of their duties; members of any rescue or firefighting force performing official duty; and persons, agencies, municipalities or companies with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act. An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by an exempted activity.
Violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment for up to 12 months, or both. Restitution for total costs of fire suppression or damage will be borne by the violator.
The BLM appreciates the public’s cooperation in helping to minimize the number of human-caused wildfires. For more information, please contact the BLM Las Cruces District Office at 575-525-4300 or the BLM NM Fire Restrictions site. Additional fire restrictions information can be found at www.nmfireinfo.com.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.