Fire Danger Ratings and Restrictions

Fire danger - very highFire Danger Ratings

Low – Fuels do not readily ignite.  Intense heat sources, such as lightning, can ignite fires.  Fires may burn in open grasslands.  Forest fires spread slowly with little danger of spotting.

Moderate – Fires can start accidentally, but the number of starts is generally low.  Grassland fires will burn briskly and spread rapidly on windy days.  Heavy concentrations of fuels can burn hot.  Spotting may occur.  These fires are not likely to become serious and control is relatively easy.

High – Fine fuels easily ignite.  Fires start from most causes and spread rapidly.  Unattended campfires are likely to escape.  Spotting is likely.  Fires may become serious and their control difficult unless they are successfully attacked while they are small.

Very High – Fires start easily, spread rapidly, and burn with high intensity.  Spot fires are a constant danger.

Extreme – Fires start quickly, spread furiously, and burn intensely.  All fires are potentially serious.  Direct attack is rarely possible.  Under these conditions, the only effective and safe control is on the flanks. 

Fire Restrictions

Please note that fire restrictions may vary by region.  These definitions are for the Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas

Stage I

The following acts are prohibited:

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove other than in a developed campsite or picnic area listed in the order.

  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site/improved site or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.

  • Possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

Stage I Exemptions:

  • Persons with a written permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

  • Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

  • Residents, owners, or lessees of land and holders of Forest Service special use authorizations within the area are exempt from Prohibition #1 only if such fires are within a permanent structure.

  • Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

Baseline Restrictions:

  • Fireworks and incendiary devices are never allowed on federal public lands.

Stage II

*If you are a contractor working on the forest, please call your contracting officer for more information.

The following acts are prohibited:

  • Building maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove including fires in developed campgrounds or improved sites.

  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of all flammable material.

  • Possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device.

  • Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine is prohibited from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

  • Discharging a firearm, air rifle, or gas gun.

  • Welding or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame.

  • Possessing or using a motor vehicle off National Forest System roads, except when parking in an area devoid of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway; and except for parking overnight in Forest Service developed campgrounds and trailheads.

  • Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained, and in effective working order.

  • Using an explosive.

Stage II exemptions:

  • Persons with a Forest Service permit that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.

  • Any federal, state, or local officer or member of an organized firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

  • Residents, owners, or lessees of land and holders of Forest Service special use authorizations within the area are exempt from Prohibition #1 only if such fires are within a permanent structure.

  • Persons using a device fueled solely by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off. Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.

  • Operating generators with an approved spark arresting device within an enclosed vehicle or building or in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the generator.

Baseline Restrictions:

  • Fireworks and incendiary devices are never allowed on federal public lands.

Closures

Fire closures may be implemented in specific areas based on the following criteria:

  • Strong potential for loss of life due to extreme fire conditions.

  • High potential for extreme fire behavior.

  • Stage II restrictions are not effective in reducing the number of human-caused fires.

  • Resources across the geographic area are at a critical shortage level.





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/cibola/fire/?cid=fseprd579715