Gila National Forest offices will be closed on May 25 in observance of Memorial Day and Campfire Ban

Silver City, NM, May 20, 2020 -- For Immediate Release.  All Gila National Forest (Gila NF) offices and ranger stations will be closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. Regular business hours will resume on Tuesday, May 26.  

Despite the office closure, fire personnel, law enforcement officers, and recreation staff will be on-duty for the Memorial Day holiday for the safety of visitors. 

The Gila National Forest remains under a campfire ban. The following prohibitions remain in effect:  igniting, building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, including charcoal grills and barbecues, coal and wood burning stoves.  Fireworks are prohibited year-round on all National Forest System lands.

The Gila NF has received questions about exemptions and special permits to allow campfires on the forest. The Regional Order refers to Exemptions in alignment with 36CFR §261.50(e), which applies to persons engaged in a business, trade or occupation in the area.   The Forest will not be issuing special permits for campfires.

Violating the campfire ban may result in an appearance in federal court, fines, and possible time in jail. Forest visitors will still be able to use pressurized liquid or gas devices (stoves, grills or lanterns) with shut-off valves, in an area at least three feet from any flammable materials. While these restrictions are in place, the majority of the five national forests in New Mexico are still open, and dispersed camping – outside of developed campsites – and other recreation opportunities are available.  Know before you go and check with the forest you wish to visit to find out what is available.

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