EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — In just one week’s time, the Lincoln National Forest has moved from a Moderate Fire Danger rating to a Very High Fire Danger rating, forest officials announced Monday.
There are no fire restrictions on the Lincoln National Forest in place at this time; however, the public is urged to use extreme caution with fire and not to burn on reg flag days.
“When the fire danger is Very High, fires will start easily from most causes and will spread rapidly right after ignition,” sid said Fire Staff Officer David Bales. “Now more than ever, it is important to properly build your campfires by using a metal or rock ring around your campfire and keep the fire as small as possible. As always, visitors to the national forest should completely extinguish their campfires before leaving.”
The Lincoln National Forest, Southwest Area and Nation are all at Preparedness Level 3 (5 is the highest Preparedness Level).
Despite it being late October, multiple 1,000-acre-plus fires have cropped up in the past week in the Southwest, including the Luna Fire in Northern New Mexico and the Horse Fire south of Prescott, Arizona.
“We are seeing similar trends to what we saw in 2011, when we had several fires over the winter,” Bales said. “To be moving into a Very High Fire Danger Rating so late in the year is atypical, but based on the low fuel moisture levels and activity in the region, it’s warranted.”
The Lincoln National Forest joins other national forests in New Mexico and Arizona that are all currently at a High, Very High or Extreme Fire Danger rating.