Protecting Public Health and Safety

Your safety and the safety of all forest visitors, employees and volunteers is our primary concern. This can mean that we must issue closure orders or restrictions on activities to protect communities and our natural and cultural resources. These orders may be across the region or specific to an individual forest or even a district based on the local situation. When planning your visit, review access and restrictions in the area you wish to visit.

Maps: Forest Orders, Fire Restrictions, Active Fires

Regional & Forest Orders

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Fire Restrictions

Fire restrictions are implemented in an effort to help decrease human-caused fires during periods of high fire potential by restricting activities which are the most common causes of wildfires. This map that is designed to provide fire restrictions information for public lands in the Southwest.

Fire Information (Inciweb)

InciWeb is an managed by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, consolidating reported wildland fires on this map. 

View Fire Information on InciWeb

Recreation Opportunities

The Southwestern Region uses a stratgy of opening and closing developed recreation sites based on assessments at the local level.  Assessments include staffing and availability of site maintenance, weather, fire and other conditions.

The vast majority of the National Forests acres remain open for dispersed camping, hiking, nature watching and other activities. Specific site closures, are managed at the each forest. Please review the Alerts and Notices for each forest and specific recreation sites you wish to visit. Preparation and planning are key to an enjoyable visit to our National Forests while reducing waste and minimizing natural resource damage.

Respect wildlife and be considerate of other visitors. Leave what you find, Pack it in, Pack it out and Leave No Trace.

Forest Alerts, Notices & Closures 

Regional Restrictions and Orders

Limited Group Sizes in New Mexico

The group size limit order 03-00-00-21-001 restricts entering open areas with a group in excess of the number specified in any public health order. All visitors still must comply with all current public health orders, including limiting the number of people in a group.

The Restricted Area includes any areas and/or facilities in the following National Forests and Grasslands:

  • New Mexico
    • Carson National Forest
    • Cibola National Forest
    • Gila National Forest
    • Lincoln National Forest
    • Santa Fe National Forest
    • Kiowa National Grassland
  • Oklahoma/Texas
    • Black Kettle & McClellan National Grasslands
    • Rita Blanca National Grasslands

View Group Size Order

Fireworks, Explosives and Sparks Prohibited.

Date(s): May 30, 2019 - Jun 1, 2023

To prevent fires and for public safety, throughout the Southwestern Region, these actions are prohibited: 

  • Possessing, discharging or using any kind of firework or other pyrotecnitc devices.
  • Using explosives. 
  • Operating an internal or extenal combustion engine without a spart arresting device in effective working order.

View Full Order 03-00-00-19-001

Regional Motor Vehicle Code

Date(s): May 30, 2019 - Jun 1, 2023

Throughout the Southwestern Region, these actions are prohibited:

  • Operating any type of vehicle that does not comply with the Motor Vehicle Code for that state. 36 CFR 261.54 (a)
  • Operating any type of vehicle in a manner inconsistent with the Motor Vehicle Code for that state. 36 CFR 261.54 (b)
  • Using a road for commercial hauling without a permit or written authorization. 36 CFR 261.54 (c)
  • Operating a vehicle in violation of the Motor Vehicle Code for that state. 36 CFR 261.54 (d)
  • Being on the road while operating any type of vehicle in violation of the Motor Vehicle Code for that state. 36 CFR 261.54 (e)
  • Operating any type of vehicle carelessly, recklessly, or without regard for the rights or safety of other persons or in a manner or at a speed that would endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property. 36 CFR 261.54 (f)

View full Order 03-00-00-19-002