Guadalupe Mountains National Park issues Stage 1 fire restrictions

Guadalupe Mountains National Park Superintendent Dennis A. Vásquez announced that the park is initiating Stage I Fire Restrictions, effective Tuesday, May 20 as a precautionary measure, in light of the park’s high fire danger rating, which has been caused by continuing high temperatures, low relative humidity, very dry vegetation and high winds.

The following Stage I Fire Restrictions will apply until rescinded:
•Smoking is allowed only within an enclosed vehicle or building, or paved or barren areas at least three feet from any vegetation or other flammable materials. Cigarette butts must be disposed of in your vehicle ashtray or in receptacles only. Smoking is not allowed inside public buildings or within twenty feet of entrances or windows of public buildings.
•Open flames, campfires, or charcoal or wood barbecues are never allowed within the park. However, camp stoves with containerized fuels, such as propane, may still be used.
•Do not park vehicles on dry grass or vegetation.
•Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Fires can start easily and spread quickly. Please report any fires or smoke to 911 or park staff immediately.

“We have already experienced several red flag warnings and fire weather watches in the park this spring, and forecasts are for continued drought conditions,” Vásquez said. Because of extreme fire danger, continuous days of red flag conditions, reduced availability of firefighting resources, and rapid rates of fire spread, we are taking this measure to ensure the safety of park visitors and staff, and to protect park resources and structures.”

Vásquez emphasized, “Guadalupe Mountains National Park remains open and we hope that visitors will continue to recreate and enjoy the park. We are continuing to monitor conditions and will re-evaluate these restrictions should conditions change and significantly decrease fire danger.”