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It is about time these guys opened.

CIBOLA NATIONAL FOREST RE-OPENS BUT REMAINS UNDER FIRE RESTRICTIONS
Albuquerque, July 21, 2004 – Today Cibola National Forest officials announced that recent rain and higher humidity's has made it possible to open the forest again beginning tomorrow, Thursday, July 22, 2004. “Recent, yet spotty rains, allow us to open the forest to visitors again,” stated Richard Nieto, Fire Management Officer. The Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts will open at 12:01 am tomorrow.

As a precautionary measure, the Cibola National Forest is maintaining the following fire restrictions on the Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena and Mt. Taylor Ranger Districts:

• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, charcoal broiler, coal or wood stove are prohibited . Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters meeting safety specifications are allowed anywhere on the national forest.

• Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle or building.

• All personal use firewood cutting will not be allowed until further notice. Extensions will be granted to individuals with existing personal use permits.

• As always, fireworks are prohibited on all national forest lands.

Cibola Forest Supervisor, Liz Agpaoa said, “We want to thank the public for their cooperation and patience during the month that the Cibola National Forest was under partial forest closures. We continue to ask for the public's vigilance, as fire danger remains high. The restrictions effectively minimized fire occurrence, which could have resulted in high losses. Firefighters were also commended for maintaining their state of readiness and efficiency during initial attack efforts on all fires. We will continue to monitor rainfall and other conditions and lift the fire restrictions as soon as practical.”

Agpaoa also announced that campfire and smoking restrictions would be lifted for the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands in New Mexico and Texas. Restrictions will also be lifted on the Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands in Oklahoma and Texas. These restrictions will also be lifted at 12:01 am Thursday.

For more information, contact Mark Chavez at 505-346-3900 or the following Ranger District offices:

• Sandia Ranger District: 505-281-3304

• Mountainair Ranger District: 505-847-2990

• Magdalena Ranger District: 505-854-2281

• Mt. Taylor Ranger District: 505-287-8833

• Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands: 505-374-9652

• Black Kettle and McClellan Creek National Grasslands: 580-497-2143
 
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