Fire Danger News Release
Lincoln National Forest's Fire Danger elevates to VERY HIGH and Stage I Fire Restrictions Implemented on Smokey Bear and Sacramento Districts
ALAMOGORDO, RUIDOSO, CLOUDCROFT, CARLSBAD, NM - April 19, 2018 – With the steady increase in daytime temperatures and constant daily moderate –to high winds, the potential for wildland fire starts increases significantly. Based on current weather and fuel conditions, an increase in visitors and recreational activities on the Forest, and an increase in human-caused fires on the Smokey Bear and Sacramento Districts over the past two weeks, the Fire Danger Rating has elevated to VERY HIGH. Fire Danger Rating signs will indicate a fire danger of VERY HIGH effective Friday, April 20th at 8:00 am, which extends across the entire forest, including Smokey Bear, Sacramento and Guadalupe Districts.
A fire danger rating of VERY HIGH means that fires start easily from all causes and, immediately after ignition, spread rapidly and increase quickly in intensity. Spot fires are a constant danger. Fires burning light fuels may quickly develop high intensity characteristics such as long-distance spotting and fire whirlwinds when they burn into heavier fuels.
“With the fire danger rating increasing to VERY HIGH, Stage I Fire Restrictions will go into effect for the Smokey Bear and Sacramento Ranger Districts on April 20th at 8:00 am. There will be no fire restrictions on the Guadalupe Ranger District,” said Ryan Whiteaker Fire Staff Officer. “As the season progresses, we may still have opportunities to conduct prescribed fire operations on the Guadalupe District, but moving forward with ignitions will be dependent on site-specific conditions and prescriptions for individual projects,” Whiteaker said.
The difference between an unwanted wildfire and a prescribed fire is that the prescribed fire is a planned event and fire is used to treat certain fuels under the oversight of a Burn Boss and firefighting resources that are on scene to ensure that the resource management objectives are being met, as the fire burns at a manageable pace. Firefighters have the advantage because they are able to control the intensity and rate of spread of the fire. With an unwanted wildfire, firefighters respond to an unknown situation and have to make appropriate on-the-spot decisions as the wildfire progresses, all the while, ensuring that firefighter and public safety are priority.
Under Stage I Fire Restrictions (Smokey Bear and Sacramento Districts), fires, campfires, charcoal grills, and coal and wood stoves are allowed only in developed campsites or picnic areas where agency-built fire rings or grills are provided for use. Campfires are prohibited at all dispersed camping sites. Stoves, lanterns or heaters fueled by propane or other liquefied petroleum fuels may be used in areas cleared of flammable materials within three feet of the device, if they meet manufacturer’s safety specifications and have on/off switches. Smoking is allowed only in enclosed vehicles or buildings and developed recreation sites. Fireworks are always prohibited on all national forests.
For additional information call or visit any of our offices listed below (8 am – 4 pm, M-F).
America's PrepareAthon! is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and communities to prepare for specific hazards through drills, group discussions, and exercises.
National PrepareAthon! Day is April 30, 2015 and will revolve around taking the actions to prepare for these six specific hazards:
Winter Fire Safety
Ensure adequate clearance from combustibles. Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary. Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire. Keep a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening. Don't use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires in fireplaces. Never burn charcoal indoors. Keep flammable materials away from your fireplace mantel. Before you go to sleep, be sure your fireplace fire is out. If synthetic logs are used, follow the directions on the package.
Furnace Heating Tips
Wood Stove Safety
Ensure adequate clearance from combustibles. Have the chimney inspected annually and cleaned if necessary. Do not use flammable liquids to start or accelerate any fire. Don't use excessive amounts of paper to build roaring fires. Never burn charcoal indoors. Keep flammable materials away from your stove.
Christmas Tree and Holiday Decorations Fire Safety Decorating homes and businesses is a long standing tradition during the holiday season. Unfortunetly it’s these decorations that increase the chance of fire. Follow a few simple Christmas tree & holiday decoration fire safety tips to ensure Happy Holidays. CHRISTMAS TREES can remain relatively fire resistant if you follow these simple steps:
LIGHTS & DECORATIONS
Cooking Safety During the Holidays
“The hectic nature of entertaining during the holidays makes it easy to overlook even the most basic cooking safety rules."
We encourages all home chefs to follow these simple fire-safety tips:
1. Stay in the kitchen. Don't leave the kitchen when you are frying, broiling or grilling. If you leave the kitchen even for a brief time, be sure to turn off all the burners on the stovetop. Don't use the stovetop or oven if you are tired or have consumed alcohol or drugs.
2. Set a timer as a reminder that the range or stove is on. Ranges were involved in three of every five home cooking fires in 2011, with ovens accounting for 16 percent of home fires, according to the NFPA. Check your food frequently, and use a timer to remind yourself that the range, stove or oven is on. They’re an inexpensive way to stay safe while ensuring that your holiday dishes do not overcook.
3. Keep anything that can catch on fire away from the stovetop. Pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels and other flammable objects should be kept a safe distance from the stovetop.
4. Keep a lid or cookie sheet, baking soda and oven mitt nearby when you're cooking to use in case of a grease fire. Fire extinguisher use without training can cause a grease fire to spread and increase the chances of serious injury.
5. Ensure your smoke alarm is fully functional before the holiday cooking season begins. Install a photoelectric smoke alarm (or one having a hush button feature) that is at least 10 feet away from your kitchen and use the test button to check it each month. Replace the battery at least once per year and never disable a smoke alarm.
“If you’re considering disabling a smoke alarm, think about this: almost two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms, In addition to following basic safety rules in the kitchen this holiday season, everyone should have a home fire escape plan with at least two ways out of every room. Practice at least twice a year to ensure the safety of everyone in your home all year long.”
Fire Chief for the Cloudcroft, New Mexico Fire Department