Effective at 8:00 AM, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, the City of Albuquerque fire restrictions will be downgraded to Stage I and the Open Burning Ban will be lifted.
Open burning will be permissible in private outdoor areas. Stage I restrictions still provide for certain restrictions in Open Space areas. In conjunction with the change, Mayor Richard J. Berry and Fire Chief David Downey expressed their sincere gratitude to the citizens of Albuquerque for being fire wise, not using fireworks, and attending public fireworks displays this year."We asked our residents to be extra cautious over the summer months, and the community answered the call. We are truly grateful that the citizens of Albuquerque made smart choices as it relates to following fire restrictions. They have helped us to preserve our tremendous natural resources for years to come," said Mayor Berry, who also cautioned that while conditions have improved, the threat still exists. "We are not out of danger, so let's continue to be diligent," he added.Albuquerque Fire Chief David Downey indicated that the community's response made a significant difference in preventing catastrophe. “It's apparent that the citizens received our fire prevention message and took measures to prevent wildland fires. Thanks to the citizens of Albuquerque, who continue to be our partners in protecting the community”.At a minimum, Stage I Restrictions are in effect throughout the year in Open Space Areas.Stage I Fire Restrictions prohibit the following activities in Open Space Areas:1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, open flame, campfire or stove fire.2. Smoking, except in enclosed vehicles.3. Possessing and/or discharging pyrotechnic fireworks.4. Possessing or using a motor vehicle off any publicly designated roadways, except when parking in developed parking lots or at developed trailheads unless otherwise authorized by a recognized government agency having such authority.5. Operating a chainsaw or other equipment powered by an internal combustion engine unless otherwise authorized by a recognized government agency having such authority.6. Operating any piece of spark-emitting equipment unless otherwise authorized by a recognized government agency having such authority.7. Operating any internal or external combustion engine unless otherwise authorized by a recognized government agency having such authority8. Welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with an open flame unless otherwise authorized by a recognized government agency having such authority.9. Camping or overnight stay.Open Space areas include those lands zoned or designated as open space in the City’s adopted Plan for Major Public Open Space and acquired by the City; Bosque or Bosque Areas; the Rio Grande State Park; wildland areas and wildland urban interface areas; major named arroyos; lined or unlined drain-ways; retention dams and retention pond areas and abutting rights-of-way or easements which have been publicly acquired; and any open lands for which the City has assumed control or management responsibility by lease, easement, or legal agreement.Penalties and Enforcement: Any person found violating the fire restrictions ordinance shall be charged with a petty misdemeanor. Upon conviction, each violation shall be punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) or by imprisonment for not more than ninety (90) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.The Fire Marshal’s Office and the Albuquerque Police Department’s Open Space Officers are responsible for enforcing the Albuquerque Fire Restriction Ordinance.