SFNF Implements Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Release Date: Apr 21, 2022

SANTA FE, NM – April 21, 2022 – Based on recent wildfire activity and persistent severe fire weather conditions, the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will implement forest-wide Stage 2 fire restrictions at 8 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 22, to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires.

Forest managers use several criteria to determine when to implement restrictions, including current and predicted weather, fuel moisture, fire activity levels and available firefighting resources. Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following activities on the SFNF:

  • Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire.
  • Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of vegetation and flammable material.
  • Blasting, welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
  • Using an explosive of any kind. (Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on national forests.)
  • Operating any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, including chainsaws, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Driving off designated roads. Visitors may park in areas cleared of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, or in designated parking areas.

Visitors may use stoves, grills and lanterns fueled by propane or other liquid petroleum gas (LPG) fuels that meet manufacturer’s safety specifications. If you plan to visit the forest, be sure to practice One Less Spark vehicle safety guidelines by securing chains, checking tire pressure and properly maintaining your brakes.

All SFNF offices will proceed with virtual sales of 2022 personal-use fuelwood permits on May 2. However, fuelwood permit holders will be required to observe the so-called “hoot owl” provision in the order that prohibits the use of a chainsaw between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Historically, the term was used to notify woodcutters they could only cut during the morning hours when they could hear owls in the forest. Today, the restriction reduces the risk of an accidental fire start by mechanical equipment during the hottest, driest part of the day.

Stage 2 fire restrictions are a proactive way to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires, protect natural and cultural resources, and enhance public and firefighter safety. Forest visitors are asked to use extreme caution when fire restrictions are in place. Violations are punishable as a Class B misdemeanor by a fine of not more than

$5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations and/or by imprisonment for not more than six months. The fire restrictions are in place until Dec. 31, 2022, unless rescinded earlier.

Federal, state and local officers and members of an organized rescue team or firefighting force are exempt from the closure order.

The fire restrictions closure order is posted under Alerts and Notices on the SFNF website. Stay up to date on SFNF closures and other news by checking the SFNF website and following us on Facebook and Twitter.