Los Alamos County Is In Stage 1 Fire Restrictions


Los Alamos Fire Department (LAFD) Fire Marshal James Pepe has announced Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for Los Alamos County, effective Friday, July 7, 2023. After consulting with other agency partners and reviewing the potential threat of wildfire, the Fire Marshal and the LAFD’s Wildland Division decided to enter Stage 1 restrictions. 

“Seasonal fire restrictions are often developed based on specific criteria related to wildland fire risk, such as vegetation moisture content, weather outlooks, human risk factors and firefighting resource availability. Cooperation of agency partners, such as LAFD , Los Alamos National Lab, New Mexico State Forestry, Santa Fe National Forest, and Bandelier share information and monitor regional weather conditions to take a team approach to reducing wildfire risk,” Pepe said.

The following are NOT ALLOWED during Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:  

  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal, or wood stove except within a developed recreation site or improved site. 
  • Possessing, discharging, or using any kind of firework or other pyrotechnic device is prohibited. 
  • Smoking except within an enclosed vehicle or building, while in a developed recreation site or while stopped in an area at least 3 feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material. 
  • Personnel working within wildland and undeveloped areas may not smoke during activities at these locations.  

 The following are ALLOWED during Stage 1 Fire Restrictions:  

  • Fires, campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves are allowed only in fixed-built fire rings, pits or grills provided for use at one of the developed campgrounds, picnic or recreation areas or public parks in Los Alamos and/or White Rock.  
  • Stoves, grills, lanterns, and heaters fueled by propane, or other liquified petroleum fuels may be used if they meet manufacturer’s safety specifications and have on/off switches. Propane devices (grills) will require an area at least 3 feet in diameter that has been cleared of flammable materials which is also the distance from structures. 

Pepe requests individuals exercise caution when cooking outdoors. He emphasizes that only electric or gas-fired grills should be used and only in developed picnic areas, paved or gravel parking lots and other areas cleared of vegetation. Do not leave stoves or grills unattended he added, and have a portable fire extinguisher close by, within 75 feet. Afterward, he advises that the area be surveyed to ensure that it is rendered safe, and all embers are fully extinguished. Limited exemptions do NOT absolve individuals or organizations from liability or responsibility if the action ignites a wildland fire, according to Pepe. Even if permitted, recreational burning is strongly discouraged if a fire restriction is in place or the National Weather Service issued a red flag warning.

“We thank the community for their cooperation and request their help to prevent wildland fires,” Pepe said.  

Residents can also follow the US Forest Service and New Mexico State Forestry restrictions when traveling outside of Los Alamos. For more information visit or if you have additional questions contact the LAFD-Fire Marshal’s Office – James Pepe Fire Marshal or call LAFD at 505-662-8103  Email james.pepe@lacnm.us  

Similar restrictions are in place at Los Alamos National Laboratory and federal, and state levels and are expected to continue and possibly increase until the region receives consistent moisture. Weather forecasts indicate hotter than normal temperatures with below-average precipitation in northern New Mexico this summer, meaning forests and grasslands will likely stay dry and prone to fires until late July or when regular monsoon rains arrive.