As of 8 a.m. Friday, Bottomless Lakes State Park applied fire restrictions until more rain can decrease the current fire hazard.
The high temperatures and low moisture level, combined with high winds, has raised the risk of fire danger around the state park, said Park Superintendent Joe Kasuboski.
The fire restrictions are earlier this year, usually not being enacted until June, but they have been implemented for the past four years, Kasuboski said. They will need at least a couple inches of rain before lifting the restrictions.
“It does affect tourists but they get used to it throughout the summer, and they start bringing their own propane grills and stuff out, which is allowed,” Kasuboski said. The only things not allowed are charcoal or wood grills. Other than that, events will proceed as usual.
But the restrictions are precautionary, especially after the park has already suffered two fires, one to the west two weeks ago and another on the upper road just last weekend.
The unusual dryness has started affecting other places throughout New Mexico and neighboring states. According to Public Lands Information Center press releases, the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands implemented Stage I Fire Restrictions in the Mountainair and Sandia Ranger Districts and Lincoln National Forest’s Guadalupe Ranger District implemented Stage II Fire Restrictions earlier this week.
According to the Rocky Mountain Area Coordination Center’s Detailed Situation Report, eight counties in Colorado have already enacted fire restrictions. And although they have not issued an official fire restriction yet, Arizona has already had the Fisher Fire, which burned 40 acres, and the state had a red flag warning last weekend, said Arizona firefighter Will Giannola.