Posted at: 05/08/2013 1:40 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Fire officials have determined that the Piedra Fire was sparked by a campfire. In light of a string of human-caused fires as well as weather conditions, state land officials are imposing a burn ban on all state land starting today. Contributing factors include dry brush that can fuel fires, as well as unusually high temperatures, low humidity and high winds.
“The extreme dryness, that’s the thing that stands out the most,” Sandra Furgal said. Furgal lives near the foothills, has seen several fires and is happy to hear of the restrictions. “Of course there have been a few fires set, unfortunately, since last summer, but the dryness is really the most notable.”
The restrictions include no campfires, no smoking and no fireworks on state land without express permission from the forestry division. You can have exceptions granted by contacting Donald Griego at 505-476-3349, Lindsey Quam at 505-476-3350, or Eddie Tudor at 505-476-3337.
Many say the restrictions are needed, but just hope they are enforced.
“If they’re not enforced, people are just going to go about nonchalant and throw the cigarettes off to the side while they’re driving,” Albuquerque resident Al Koston said. “I’ve caught cigarette butts on trails already.”
The restrictions will be enforced, with consequences for those who violate them. State officials say minor violations could mean a citation, while a fire that spreads could mean the violator has to pay for the firefight – likely thousands of dollars – or even face jail time.
The fire restrictions will remain in effect until conditions improve, which will likely be months.