Bosque closed, fire restrictions in place

Posted at: 06/07/2013 5:51 PM
Updated at: 06/07/2013 6:27 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Blazes in Pecos and Jemez have already destroyed thousands of acres of land and are still threatening homes. Albuquerque and Bernalillo County officials want to make sure the same thing doesn't happen here.

City and county officials announced Friday there will be no burning allowed on any public or private land starting Monday. Propane grills are okay.

"No burning weeds, no chainsaws, no smoking, no open pit fires, no recreational fires," Mayor Richard Berry said. "But go out, enjoy, recreate, be our eyes and ears."

That's part of the key - officials still want people outside to keep an eye out for potential fire starters.

"We need our citizens to report suspicious activity beforehand, of people who are violating fire restrictions," Fire Chief James Breen said.

As for the bosque, people are only allowed on established trails. The Sandia and Mountainair Ranger districts will see changes too.

"The factors that we use to track our fire danger are just about to the max we've ever recorded," Matt Ray of Sandia Ranger District Management said.

Punishments are steep. Each violation is a misdemeanor. In the city you could be fined $500 and jailed up to 90 days. In the county, the fine could be up to $300.