Posted at: 12/18/2012 8:35 AM
By: The Associated Press
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Forest officials say they have elevated the fire danger warning in southern New Mexico's Guadalupe Ranger District.
Their decision was prompted by a lack of moisture and unseasonably warm weather.
When the rating reaches the high level, officials say all fine fuels such as grass can ignite easily and fires can start quickly and spread rapidly.
The last two years saw similar conditions, and that led to the start of early fire seasons. In 2011, large fires were being reported as early as February and the season continued through August.
The ranger district's fire management officer, Art Arias, says this year could see an extended fire season due to the similar conditions. He says there's no indication that the area will see significant moisture between now and spring.
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