Officials with the Gila National Forest say warmer temperatures and windy conditions are increasing fire danger across the southern New Mexico forest.
The conditions have prompted managers to bump up the fire danger rating to “high.” That means fine fuels can ignite readily and unattended campfires are likely to escape.
Officials considered several factors in raising the level, including data from weather stations across the forest.
They’re asking people to be vigilant and avoid using anything with an open flame or spark. For example, chain saws should have spark arrestors and the use of lawn mowers should be avoided as the blades can strike a rock and produce sparks.
Officials also say cigarettes should be properly extinguished and trailer chains shouldn’t be allowed to drag on the pavement to prevent sparking.