TAOS, NM – September 2022 — The Carson National Forest reminds visitors about the importance of campfire safety and preventing human-caused wildland fires. Abandoned campfires are still the leading cause of human-caused wildfires.

An ongoing drying trend across the Carson National Forest has fire managers concerned about an early start to the 2022-23 fire season. The dry winter and spring conditions combined with strong winds have already brought wildfire season to many parts of New Mexico.  

With warmer temperatures and more people getting out to explore the Carson National Forest, visitors are urged to follow campfire safety procedures. It is every camper’s responsibility to properly maintain and extinguish a campfire to prevent wildfires.

If visitors come across an abandoned campfire, please remember to: 

Drown: Pour water on the fire. Drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. Pour until hissing sound stops.

Stir: Stir dirt or sand into the embers with a shovel to bury the fire.Make sure that no embers are exposed and still smoldering.

Drown: Continue adding water, dirt or sand and stir with a shovel until all material is cool.

Check: Place your hand close to the material to ensure it is cool. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.

If you plan to visit the Carson National Forest, know before you go and check the weather forecast for current conditions. More campfire safety tips to recreate responsibly and prevent wildfires are: 

·        Bring a small shovel, rake, and buckets of water to drown a campfire.

·        Don’t start a campfire in tall grass – make sure there is bare ground or a pre-established fire pit.

·        Don’t start a campfire underneath overhanging trees or brush.