Los Alamos Fire Department Fire Marshal Wendy Servey announced Friday that she is enacting Baseline Fire Restrictions for Los Alamos County, effective immediately. Servey said the decision was made in partnership with LAFD’s Wildland Division today after reviewing the potential threat of wildfire, especially in light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
“Nationwide, the response to COVID-19 is straining all emergency response resources,” Servey said, “It requires a new way of operating. Large wildfires require an inter-agency response that relies upon local, state, and federal cooperation and coordination. Given the current strain on government resources due to the pandemic emergency, any wildfire response will be diminished, and that makes it more difficult to fight a fire in its earliest stages. Without the necessary resources, we are at greater risk for fires to grow quickly and spread, which in turn requires even more resources for firefighting. To support the State of New Mexico and widespread need to focus on COVID-19 mitigation efforts, it is imperative that our local citizens and visitors take every action to reduce our risk of wildfire.”
The following are NOT ALLOWED during Baseline Fire Restrictions:
Outdoor smoking in except designated areas.
Use of fireworks is prohibited on County, or public lands, and open spaces.
Exemption: Professional firework display or pyrotechnics requires an approved permit by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Open burning is prohibited on private, County, public lands and open spaces. The burning of trash or rubbish is prohibited. No open burn permits will be issued by the Fire Marshal’s Office during fire restrictions.
Exemption: Prescribed burns for wildland management by an authorized federal, state or local agency requires approved permit by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
Bonfires are prohibited. No bonfire permits will be issued by the Fire Marshal’s Office during fire restrictions.
Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal or wood stove, including fires in developed or undeveloped campgrounds on County land, specifically Camp May Campground and open spaces, is prohibited.
Exemption: Recreational fires are allowed in a constructed fixed fireplace, ring or grate no bigger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet tall and at least 25 feet away from structures with a spark arrestor at one- and two- family dwellings
- Portable outdoor fireplaces, heaters, chimineas located 15 feet away from structures, however, this does NOT apply to one- and two- family dwellings
- Outdoor gas stoves or grills fueled by NG or LPG fuels with shut-off valves, located 3 feet from all structures.
- Charcoal fires in contained barbeques or permanently constructed grills, rings, grates in improved site County parks are permitted.
An exemption does not absolve an individual or an organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started from the exempted activity.
“We are already experiencing a high level of fire season activity, with dry forests and gusting winds. We need the community to support these restrictions and report observations of any prohibited activities that are an emergency by calling 911,” Servey said.
Servey said residents are welcome to contact her office at 662-8305 for non-emergency calls and any questions about the restrictions.
National Parks, Monuments, Preserves and Wildlife Refuges host year-round fire restrictions. Contact Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve before visiting for specific information.