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2020-02

REVISED SMOKING, FIREWORK, CAMPFIRE, AND OPEN FIRE RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW MEXICO

Due to abnormally warm temperatures, low humidity, high winds, and the abundance of dry, fine
fuels, fire danger throughout much of New Mexico is high. Fire incidents for all wildland fire
agencies are increasing daily. Pursuant to NMSA, Section 68-2-16, and other sections of the Forest
Conservation Act, NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-1 to 68-2-25, and 19.20.3 NMAC; Restrictions for Fire
Prevention, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Forestry Division, State
Forester, has placed the following restrictions on non-municipal, non- federal, and non-tribal
lands statewide.

SMOKING, FIREWORKS, CAMPFIRES, OPEN BURNING, AND OPEN FIRES ARE PROHIBITED UNLESS THE
FOLLOWING CONDITIONS ARE MET:

Smoking is prohibited except in enclosed buildings, within vehicles equipped with ashtrays, and on
paved or surfaced roads, developed recreation sites, or while stopped in an area at least three
feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.

Fireworks use is prohibited on lands covered wholly or in part in timber, brush, grass, grain, or
other flammable vegetation. The State Forester is allowing exceptions to the ban on
fireworks where they are a part of a public exhibit approved by the local fire department.

Campfires are prohibited unless the following exceptions are met. An exception is granted where
cooking or heating devices use kerosene, white gas, or propane as a fuel in an
improved camping area that is cleared or flammable vegetation for at least 30 feet or has a water
source. New Mexico State Parks and New Mexico Department of Game and Fish lands are included in
this prohibition. For more information regarding New Mexico State Parks contact the
local State Park Superintendent or Manager or visit the website at
www.nmparks.com.

The State Forester is also allowing exceptions for charcoal grills and wood and coal stoves
within yards associated with a residence or on the premises of a business.

Open burning, i.e., burning of cropland, fields, rangeland, debris burning, slash piles,
prescribed burning, or weed burning, is prohibited. The State Forester grants an exception to open
burning when all the following conditions are met:

1. the cropland is irrigated (This exception does not apply to non-irrigated croplands,
fields, or rangelands.);

2. burning is done with adequate planning;

3. adequate personnel are present to monitor and control the burn to assure that it will not
become an uncontrolled fire;

4. the burn area is secured from becoming uncontrolled at the end of daily operations; and

5. at the beginning of each day, before ignition, the person responsible for the
burn notifies the local fire department responsible for fire protection and follows all local
burning guidelines and 20.2.60.111 NMAC, Open Burning of Vegetative Material, related to
state air quality.

Flaring of gas is prohibited. The State Forester grants an automatic exception to the
prohibition on open fires for the flaring of natural gas when the conditions are met for each of
the following categories:

1. Flaring is needed for safety purposes and/or short term unplanned operational needs.

2. Flaring is planned and the facility is manned:

a. the day is not designated a “red flag day” as determined by the National
Weather Service and the sustained wind is not in excess of 25 miles per hour in the area; and
b. the local fire department and county dispatch are notified at least 24 hours in advance
of anticipated releases that will result in flaring; if flaring is done by an automated system then
the schedule of flaring shall be provided to the local fire department and county dispatch; and
c. at least one adult is on site with communications equipment adequate to reach county
dispatch and the local fire department in the event of a fire; the individual should also be
equipped with a shovel and a water backpack pump or other equipment to deliver water to suppress a
fire; and
d. the area is mowed and maintained at a length not to exceed 4 inches and all other
flammable products or debris shall be cleared in the area for a distance of one and one-half times
the height of the stack.

3. Flaring is planned and the facility is unmanned:

a. the day is not designated a “red flag day” as determined by the National
Weather Service and the sustained wind is not in excess of 25 miles per hour in the area; and

1220 South St. Francis Drive ▪ Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
Phone (505) 476-3325 ▪ Fax (505) 476-3330 ▪ http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SFD

b. the area around the flare stack is mowed and maintained at a length not to exceed 4
inches and all other non-facility related flammable products or debris shall be cleared in the area
for a distance of three times the height of the stack.

Other exceptions may be requested.

The State Forester may allow additional exemptions upon receiving a written request and granting
subsequent approval in writing. You may apply for exemptions other than those listed above
for flaring or agricultural burning on the Forestry Division website at
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SFD/. The exemptions provided above in this Fire Restrictions Order
for flaring and agricultural burning do not require written approval so long as the
conditions listed are met.

An exemption does not relieve a person from any civil or criminal liability associated with an
uncontrolled fire, including costs associated with wildland fire suppression.

These revised restrictions become effective at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, 2020 and will remain in
effect until rescinded.

DONE THIS 19th DAY OF MAY 2020

Laura McCarthy, State Forester Forestry Division

Sarah Cottrell Propst, Cabinet Secretary
Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department