When temperatures start to climb in the summer, the mountains in New Mexico can be both dangerous and in danger.
The Sandia Ranger District and Bernalillo County East Mountain Open Space announced closures this week due to extreme fire danger, joining a growing list of national forests and recreation area closures around the state.
Officials hope to reduce the likelihood of human-caused fires and prevent people from getting stuck on the mountain if a fire does break out.
“Unfortunately people think well I take care of my fires and it’s okay,” said Larry Gallegos. He's with Bernalillo County. “Or they’re a smoker and they think, well I’m watching my cigarette ashes. Some people just don’t care about the rules, that's just plain and simple.”
Gallegos said 90 degree weather, little rain and careless campers turn the mountain into a tinderbox. Until the monsoons start, there probably won’t be enough rain to cancel the closures. That might not happen until mid- or late July.
Closed areas include:
- Mountainair Ranger District
- Sandia Ranger District
- Mount Taylor Ranger Districts
- Ojito de San Antonio
- Sandia Knolls
- Sedillo Ridge
- Sabino Canyon Open Space Properties
- Santa Fe National Forest