Serving the High Plains

Statewide fire restrictions enacted

Forecasted rainfall for the Quay County area may hold off fears of the threat associated with a recent statewide fire restrictions, but caution is still advised, according to local fire officials.

On Tuesday morning, Energy, Mineral and Natural Resources Department Secretary John Bemis and State Forester Tony Delfin placed restrictions on fireworks, smoking, campfires and open fires to non-municipal, non-federal and non-tribal land in the state.

"Recent high temperatures and low humidity levels have dried our forest and wildland vegetation significantly throughout the state of New Mexico," Delfin said in an ENMRD press release.

There is a 30 percent chance for storms in eastern New Mexico from Wednesday going in to the weekend, said Christopher Luckett, ameteorologist with the National Weather Service Albuquerque.

Luckett said moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico will combine with upper level winds out of the west. He said this combination will produce additional strength in the storms which will develop from the merging of the two fronts.

Despite the chance for additional rainfall and not being included in the ban, Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry said the threat for fires is still high.

Cherry said while there is a high humidity from the rain their is still a danger from dry lightning associated with the forecasted storms. He said the city will continue with their own fire ordinances while rural Quay County follows the restrictions.